Early Monday (April 9) evening, a group of girls jumped from the balcony of an Edgewater building in New Jersey after it caught fire. More details on the incident are below.
On Monday evening, a fire ripped through a dance studio and other businesses in a two-story Edgewater building. Several girls were stuck inside, and plenty of people rushed with ladders to help rescue them.
According to reports, none of the girls were gravely injured, but 10 to 15 suffered minor injuries while escaping the fire. The ordeal was captured on video, showing many people lifting ladders to the balcony so that the girls could escape.
In the video, a girl is seen clinging to the balcony with her legs dangling before she falls to the ground. One more girl came down with the help of a balcony beam. Another dropped to the ground.
Tony Nehmi Helped Rescue Two Girls
According to officials, the fire started shortly before 7:00 p.m., and there are no reports of anybody missing. Tony Nehmi, the owner of Edgewater Wine & Spirits, was reportedly the first individual at the scene. He helped Edgewater Police Officer Jimmy Dalton rescue two of the girls.
Nehmi explained that he ran towards the building when he noticed smoke coming down the street from his shop. He asked restaurant workers if anybody was still stuck inside the building. That was when he saw two girls hitting the glass on the second floor.
“I just wanted to get those two girls out, I never would have lived with myself if they got hurt,” Nehmi said, “The flames were spreading so fast. I only had a couple of seconds to save them, there was no time.”
He added that the two girls were not able to break the glass, so he took a ladder, climbed to the balcony, and broke it with the ladder.
He then set the ladder up so the girls could climb down. Nehmi said the girls were not seriously injured, but could have hurt themselves after stepping on broken glass.
Several videos show the fire burning in the commercial building on Old River Road. Thick smoke from the fire could be seen from Manhattan. Firefighters were successful in stopping the flames, which climbed a section of the Palisades toward an apartment building on Gorge Road in Cliffside Park.
The businesses at the address include a hookah lounge, car wash, restaurant, and a dance studio.
Five individuals were immediately taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
At around 9:45 p.m., firefighters managed to control the fire. Currently, the reason for the fire has not yet been determined, but they believe that it started in the restaurant. The investigation is still ongoing at this time.