Girls jump from balcony of dance studio to escape fire

Girls jump from balcony of dance studio to escape fire

Girls jump from balcony of dance studio to escape fire

Ilker Kesiktas, who shot the video, said today that he grabbed a fire extinguisher when he saw flames climb the side of the row of businesses, including a restaurant he and his friends frequent, in Edgewater, a town on the Hudson River just north of New York City. It became very clear, very fast, that the ladders were not tall enough, so bystanders told the children to jump into their waiting arms.

The young dancers were seen dangling from the ledge and screaming as an army of good Samaritans below the burning Edgewater studio encouraged the girls to let go, according to footage of the daring escape.

The children can be seen throwing clothing and backpacks from the balcony as adults below race to get ladders in position and help them down. Smoke from the fire was reportedly seen in Manhattan.

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The fire is believed to have started on the first floor, where the Edgewater International Auto Body and a vehicle wash are located, before spreading to the rest of the building. First on the scene were Edgewater Police Officer Jimmy Dalton and a store owner, Tony Nehmi, who saw the girls pounding on the glass on the second floor. "I didn't know it [was] gonna be that bad".

In the chaos, the two broke the window to the second floor dance studio to rescue the girls. "I didn't care. I just want to get them out, before anything happens".

Then, the fire department appeared and was able to get them off the roof, he said. Others are forced to drop to the ground below.

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On the first floor of the building was an auto body shop, vehicle wash, health spa and restaurant, officials said.

Five people were transported to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, and about 10 to 15 suffered minor injuries.

However, the entire building was quickly consumed by the flames which tore through not only the dance studio, but also a restaurant, health spa and vehicle wash, Edgewater Mayor Michael McPartland told reporters at the scene.

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Fire officials are investigating the cause of the fire.

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