Two firefighters pulled a woman to safety Tuesday morning after a large blaze ripped through her New Jersey home and left her trapped behind a chain-link fence.
The woman was trying to escape the flames that enveloped her home in Paterson at about 7:30 a.m. when she got trapped by the 7-foot-tall fence in her backyard.
Firefighters Marvin Cruz and Dave Van Tassel quickly came to her aid and found the woman coughing and crying out for help as she struggled to make her way over the fence with the help of a neighbor.
"It was very intense," Cruz said. "She was panicking, she was screaming, saying she wanted to get out of there."
When Cruz and Van Tassel arrived, the woman was part of the way over the fence. Tassel put her legs on his shoulders, pulled the fence down so it wouldn't scrape her shins, and helped her get the rest of the way over. That's when she fell into Cruz's arms.
"She came tumbling over to me," Cruz said. "There was a car right behind me, I fell on top of the car with her on top of me."
Afterward, the woman was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
The blaze was extinguished a short time later. No one else was hurt.