NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A child had no choice but to jump six stories after a fire broke out in a building in the Bronx on Wednesday.
She is seriously injured but is expected to survive.
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It happened in a 17 story building near 169th Street in the Morrisania section.
Neighbor Linda Kemp had to not only see the raging fire, but also rush to care for an 8-year-old girl who had jumped from her sixth-floor balcony.
“She’s a child I’ve known since she was in her mother’s womb,” Kemp told CBS2’s Cory James. “We went to hold her so that she didn’t move, to try to keep her from moving her neck and parts of her body… I recognized that both her legs were damaged.
As people nearby tried to calm the girl down, more than 100 firefighters showed up to put out the fire.
“This is not our first fire in our building,” Kemp said.
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The FDNY says the blaze, which could be seen from miles away, heavily engulfed two rooms.
“There was a lot of smoke and a lot of heat throughout the fire floor and the upper floors,” FDNY Deputy Chief Anthony Montera said.
An adult in the apartment suffered minor injuries with two firefighters, but Montera can’t help but think of the brave child who had the courage to fall several feet in hopes of saving her life.
“To jump from the sixth floor you had to be horrible,” he said. “She landed on earth. I think she was conscious enough to aim for the dirt and not the sidewalk, and luckily she landed on the dirt, it saved her.
“I pray to God that she comes to a full recovery and mentally, physically, that she heals 100%,” Kemp said.
Firefighters and Kemp say the 8-year-old should survive. At the last check-up, she was in critical condition with severe trauma to her leg.
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So far, the cause of the fire is still under investigation.