SACRAMENTO, Calif. A child was dropped from a window of a burning Sacramento apartment complex to escape the flames Thursday, CBS Sacramento station KOVR-TV reports.
The blaze trapped residents inside screaming for help.
"I almost passed out going up to the top of the stairs," said Jaques King. "I couldn't breathe."
He ran back down just as a young mother was about to drop her 9-year-old girl from a second-story window.
"My skin was burning, like, I could feel it, and so we're trying to rush her down, but, you know, you can't rush somebody that's scared," King said.
"When she let her go, I had to catch her, and she was crying," said another neighbor. "When she touched the ground, when I caught her and touched the ground, she ran off."
The little girl wasn't injured, but her mother was still trapped. She had no choice but to jump.
"The woman then jumped, herself, out of the apartment, and she was transported to the hospital with some injuries," Sacramento Metro Fire spokeswoman Michelle Eidman said.
The mother broke her ankle as she fell.
Neighbors weren't done; another man was trapped in his upstairs apartment.
"I ran through the gate with my ladder; we put it up there for him," Bob Correa said.
Correa took praise for his actions all in stride.
"That's what a neighbor should do, especially in a situation like this. When people are in danger, you got to do something," he said.
That's exactly what they did on a night they'll never forget.
"It changed my life. I'm not going to mess with fire ever," King said.
The Red Cross is helping the families find another place to live.