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Girls jump from balcony to escape dance studio fire in Edgewater, NJ

Girls jump from balcony to escape dance studio fire in Edgewater, NJ

Video of the harrowing incident shows some of the six girls trapped on a balcony as flames consume the Edgewater building where the dance students had been rehearsing.

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.

The children were hiding from the elements on the balcony and began to throw down clothes and backpacks to make it softer jump.

One of the heroic rescuers even carries a child down the escape ladder.

The ladders were too short to reach the balcony and kept falling over, so Twomey said she made a decision to jump down.

About 15 girls were treated for minor injuries, Mayor Michel Joseph McPartland said.

A nearby business owner, Tony Nehmi, told NJ.com that he rushed toward the blaze when he saw smoke.

"I'm really grateful for the people who came over to help", said Twomey. "The girls were trapped on the second floor and they escaped due to the bravery of these two guys".

Overall, said the girl who'd been one of the jumpers, it worked. "I want to get them off the roof immediately". Some children are seen jumping onto the ladders, and, eventually, the people on the balcony are forced to fall 10 feet to the ground below.

Five people were taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Thanks to eyewitness video, an intense fire in a building that housed a dance studio filled with children has been viewed online hundreds of thousands of times worldwide.

Fire officials are investigating the cause of the fire.


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