Morrisania

8-Year-Old Girl Leaps From 6th-Floor Balcony to Escape Fire in NYC High-Rise

Despite the terrifying fall, the girl miraculously survived. An FDNY chief said the 8-year-old had enough wherewithal to aim for the dirt rather than the pavement, but the fall still left her with two broken legs

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After a fire broke out inside a Bronx apartment building, a young girl jumped from her terrace to escape the flames that had swallowed her home, the FDNY said.

The fire at the building on East 169th Street and Third Avenue in the Morrisania section broke out around 6 p.m. Wednesday night, according to fire officials. It wasn't immediately clear how it started, but it took more than 100 firefighters to knock it down, two of whom suffered minor injuries.

Video showed billowing black smoke pour out of a sixth floor apartment. With the smoke and flames evidently proving to be too much for her to handle, the 8-year-old girl leapt from her terrace, a dangerous drop at least 60 feet to the ground.

Despite the terrifying fall, the girl miraculously survived. FDNY Deputy Chief Anthony Montera said she had enough wherewithal to aim for the dirt rather than the pavement, but the fall still left her with two broken legs.

Neighbor Linda Kemp arrived to see the aftermath, finding other neighbors huddled around the girl, trying to keep her calm.

"I held her down so she wouldn't move, to try to keep her from moving her neck and her body parts," Kemp said, adding that she could tell the child's legs had been badly injured. "First she didn't understand why we were holding her down. She was like, 'Let me go, let me go.' I had to explain to her that I couldn't."

The girl was brought to the hospital, and she was listed in critical condition, with neighbors and the fire chief both hopeful she will survive.

One other person in the apartment was also hurt. With the exception of the units burned, hundreds of others were allowed back inside their homes once the fire was doused.

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