NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A woman and her five children were forced to jump from a third floor apartment to escape a fire early Wednesday morning.

The blaze broke out just before 12:30 a.m. at a building on South Orange Avenue.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

Trapped by flames and smoke, the family began jumping out a window and into the arms of neighbors who had rushed to the scene to help.

“As they were jumping out, smoke — thick smoke was just coming out, rushing. The kids were jumping out, I couldn’t belive that,” neighbor Christopher Calypso said. “We were literally catching them out of the window.”

“They were hanging, they bounced off the sign here and then hit the concrete,” said neighbor Juan Ocasio.

The 39-year-old woman and children, who range in ages from 6 to 17, were taken to the hospital, officials said. All are reported to be in stable condition.

The family had just moved in to the apartment from a shelter on Tuesday, 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reported.

“To be back on your feet and have that feeling, that emotion that everything is OK and then to have that taken away from you in the blink of an eye, it’s kind of difficult to deal with,” said family friend Marcus Allen.

Officials said the fire started in the bathroom by an unattended candle. It took about 20 minutes to bring the blaze under control.

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