JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (WABC) --An off-duty firefighter and an off-duty police officer are being hailed as heroes after they rescued a little girl from a burning building in New Jersey.
The fire broke out at the home on Randolph Avenue in Jersey City around noon, with the flames originating in the ground-floor garage. A father was watching TV while his 4-year-old daughter was sleeping on the third floor, when the smoke detector went off. The dad tried to get to the girl, but he was unable to reach her because of the intensity of the blaze.
Firefighter Luis Colon was off duty but working fire prevention/inspection in the area and heard the call, while the officer was in the area doing off-duty detail. Together, they propped a ladder against the side of the building and pulled her to safety.
"Personally, I wasn't scared," Colon said. "My main thought was that this little girl was the one without gear in there, and I was more nervous for her. Because you could actually hear her crying from where I was pulling her out from."
The two heroes, the girl and her father were all treated for smoke inhalation.
"Nothing, you couldn't see nothing," Colon said. "Pitch black, hot, and the smoke was choking. Very, very tough to breath in there.
Colon said he doesn't want to be considered a hero, because he was simply doing his job. And his only thoughts were reuniting the girl with her parents.
"She was still scared, even in the ambulance, I saw her," he said. "Myself, once I got outside the building, I was relieved for her."
Three other people in the building fled to the backyard and ended up stuck behind a fenced, which firefighters cut so that they could escape.