Video: Girls jump from balcony of dance studio to escape fire


(RNN) – Several girls escaped from a four-alarm fire by jumping from a balcony at a dance studio on Monday in Edgewater, NJ.

A bystander recorded girls and adults screaming for help on the balcony, attempting to get to ladders bystanders were setting up. The adults then dangled the girls from the edge as the flames became too intense and began to consume the balcony. Some of the men below caught the girls.

Smoke was so intense, people in Manhattan could see it. 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.

The girls were unable to break the glass, so then Nehmi climbed on the roof and broke a window to free them.

“The flames were spreading so fast,” Nehmi said. “I only had a couple of seconds to save them, there was no time.”

The mayor of Edgewater Michael McPartland said it was “the bravest thing he had ever seen.”

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

Aside from the restaurant and the dance studio, the building housed a car wash and an auto body shop.

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