Man who uses wheelchair rescued after fire breaks out in Jersey City apartment

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (WABC) -- Firefighters in New Jersey came to the rescue of a man who uses a wheelchair.

He was trapped by himself when flames broke out Friday inside his home in Jersey City.

Thanks to the quick acting firefighters, the man was rescued from the fire inside a small apartment attached to the back of a larger building.

The afternoon blaze produced enough smoke to lead rescuers to the source of the fire.

"They did a good search of the building," said Jersey City Fire Chief Steven McGill. "They went towards the back, they found fire in a rear bedroom. They did find one adult male, about 68-years-old."

The victim was apparently in bed and could not reach his wheelchair to escape. His two caretakers had gone to the store and the bank.

They were rushing to the hospital when we caught up with the victim's niece.

"He had a stroke about a year ago and he's been bed-bound for like a year," said Teresa Williams.

The victim was burned on ten percent of his lower extremities but is expected to survive.

The configuration of the building and the back apartment made it a challenge to find the fire, but rescuers arrived in the nick of time to prevent the situation from being much worse.

"In the front is a store so when they got here they went and checked in the store and they were going to check upstairs," said McGill. "One of the units went around back which is what we normally try and do, and that's where we found some smoke coming out of the back apartment."

The cause of the fire is still under investigation but authorities say it appears to have been an accident.

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