MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A family from North Minneapolis is getting help from the Red Cross after a fire gutted their house overnight.
Investigators are trying to pinpoint what started the fire. All 12 people inside survived, but as Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield shows us, it involved a harrowing rescue.
Two people had to jump from a second-floor window to escape.
A neighbor called 911 around 12:30 a.m. when he saw fire coming from the home and people jumping from the second floor window. Firefighters arrived at the house on the 1300 block of 16th Avenue North right after the jumpers had made it to the ground.
Crews quickly knocked down the flames at the home, which was home to eight children and four adults, including Leroy Davis.
"So quick. Real quick. It was smoke and then next thing you know, fire quickly," Davis said.
The staircase was blocked by fire so Davis had to get creative.
"All I could think was get everybody out as quick as I can. As far as my mother-in-law, she was stuck. I had to figure something out quick. Quickest thing I could think of was climb up the house and go through the window 'cause I can't just leave her up there," Davis said.
Davis climbed the house and the two jumped from the window. Davis broke his arm and his fiance's mother broke her leg upon impact.
"Crews were able to help the folks that had jumped out of the windows, suffered some injuries from falling out of the second-floor windows, get them to ambulances, and extinguish the fire fairly quickly," said Kathleen Mullen, deputy chief with the Minneapolis Fire Department. "The building is gutted, the family is not going to be able to move back, and they've lost most of their belongings."
Emergency crews brought Davis and his fiance's mother to Hennepin Healthcare for treatment. No one else was injured.
The family is staying with relatives until they figure out their next move.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but it appears to have started in either the basement or first floor.
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