Girls Escape Dance Studio Fire By Dropping From Balcony

Watch Video: Young girls jumping down a dance studio in New Jersey as fire tear through

Video shows other girls jumping from the balcony to escape the blaze. The flames caused by the fault of the gas equipment, broke out in the Beyoglu restaurant on river road and quickly spread to an adjacent building. As she waited her turn to exit the balcony onto the ladders men were holding below, she was burned slightly by sparks from the growing fire.

After a few minutes, the seventh-grader said light smoke began filling the dance studio.

"I was one of the last people to jump off", said Nina Twomey, 12, about the emergency that unfolded around 6:30 p.m. Monday.

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.

New York Daily News reported that the fire is believed to have started on the building's first floor, the home of a auto fix workshop, before it spread to consume the entire building.

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

A nearby business owner, Tony Nehmi, told NJ.com that he rushed toward the blaze when he saw smoke. He said he called for help and that he and his friends tried to help the girls get out by putting a ladder up to the balcony and catching the girls on the ground after they jumped. Then he saw two little girls through a window on the second floor trapped inside the building. "I knew there was no time", Nehmi said.

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

Five people were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.

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