Video footage shows the moment a group of terrified girls jumped from the balcony of their New Jersey dance studio after a raging fire tore through the building Monday evening، daily mail reported.
Authorities say flames broke out just before 7 p.m. on the first floor of the two-story building on Old River Road in Edgewater.
The children were petrified and could be seen hanging from the ledge and as a host of good citizens intervened to help، Daily News reported.
They encouraged the young girls to let go so they could catch them.
In the video you can see a man carrying a child down an extension ladder while another child knocked the same ladder over during her attempt to escape.
Nearly all the ladders fell as the children tried to evacuate and escape the destructive flames.
Mayor Michael McPartland said he and a friend witnessed a police officer and businessman rescue the children from the second story.
Bystander and rescuer Ismail Demir was seen helping those jumping. His friend، Ilker Kesiktas، captured the rescues with his cell phone.
'Thank God nobody was dead،' Kesiktas told CBS’s Valerie Castro. 'That was our only concern، little injuries but we care about the lives of those kids.'
'It was one of the bravest things I’ve seen،' McPartland told reporters. 'It was kind of dramatic. They didn’t know what to do — the girls were trapped on the second floor. They escaped due to the bravery of these two guys.'
Edgewater Police Sgt. James Dalton and bystander Tony Nehmi climbed a ladder up on to the first-story roof after realizing they were trapped. 'The girl was so scared،' Nehmi said. 'Crying، screaming. It was horrible.'
The two men were forced to break the window to rescue the girls.
'We couldn’t do it quick enough،' Sgt. Dalton said. 'Once we got them out they told us they were the last two people in there. Big sigh of relief.'
Five people were taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries، according to Edgewater Fire Chief Steve Curry.
The fire is believed to supposedly started on the first floor before spreading to the rest of the building.