Mother, 2 daughters jump to safety to escape Bronx house fire

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, November 24, 2022
Mom, 2 daughters jump to safety to escape Bronx house fire
A ferocious house fire in the Bronx forced several families to escape, including a mother and her two girls who had to jump from a window. Sonia Rincon has the details.

HUNTS POINT, Bronx (WABC) -- Several people were injured, including four firefighters, after a fire broke out a home in the Bronx Wednesday.

The fire started around 4:30 p.m. at a three-family home located at 746 Manida Street in the Hunts Point section.

"The flames were coming out the windows and it was really, really intense," witness Mitzi Gonzalez said.

A mother and her two young daughters were forced to jump to safety.

"Jump. We got you. Jump. It was about eight of us. Jump. We got you," Ashanta Smith said.

Smith was among several men, including a mailman, all working nearby when they saw the smoke and flames coming from the home, and ran over with fire extinguishers to help.

Just about everyone inside managed to get out via the front door, but when flames started coming from it, a woman and her 16-year-old and 8-year-old daughters who were still trapped inside, were running out of options.

"I see a little girl coming out the window. I said 'jump.' I went, I climbed up on the fence and I told her to jump on me. I grabbed her, brought her down," Gilbert Valley.

Valley owns a bodega on the corner. He and his son Tyler were determined to make sure every last person got out safely.

"They were hesitant to jump but with the encouragement and knowing that their life was on the line, they knew that they had to do what they had to do and jump," Tyler Valley said.

The mother and one daughter that were helped out of that third-floor window were still in the hospital Wednesday night recovering from minor injuries.

Other members of that family of eight told Eyewitness News reporter Sonia Rincon that they were food prepping for Thanksgiving when the fire broke out in the apartment below theirs. The neighbors who grabbed fire extinguishers could not believe how fast it spread.

"It took off so quick. Like, it started on that side, like we were putting it out, but once you put out right back out, boom," Smith said.

Despite the quick spread, about 25 units and over 100 firefighters were on the scene within minutes and were able to get it under control around 5:45 p.m., before it could get to three alarms or damage the homes next door.

The damage is devastating, but everyone who lived there is alive.

"No one can lose their life the night before Thanksgiving. The house, It's messed up, but it can be replaced," Smith said. "For someone to lose their life like that? Nah. We're not gonna do that."

The FDNY said six people in total, including four firefighters, were treated for minor injuries.

"It is unusual to have that heavy fire at this time of day. So, we are looking into the cause of it," FDNY Deputy Chief Brian Shovlin.


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