JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A man’s quick thinking saved his mother’s life as a fire swept through their home in Jersey City Sunday morning.
CBS2’s Marc Liverman spoke to both the mother and her son about the moment the fire started.
Authorities say the fire started just before 8 a.m. inside a two-story home on Myrtle Avenue.
“I was asleep,” said Willie Mae Johnson. “My son woke me up and said the house was on fire.”
Flames shot out of the home, pouring out all the way up the side. Johnson’s son, Marvin Jones, said he heard the smoke alarm.
Instincts kicked in and he rushed into action.
“I got my mother out and went next door and got the other people out,” Jones said.
“If my son hadn’t been here, I probably would be dead,” Johnson added.
Roughly 50 firefighters worked to bring the 3-alarm blaze under control. After the fire, one of the homes had been left with charred siding and holes along the side.
All the residents in both homes made it out safely.
“We went to go get the kids in the back and saw our whole entire pantry on fire,” said Crystal Gooding.
Gooding said she and her fiancée grabbed her young kids and rushed out of the house.
“It broke our window and just kind of took over the side of the house,” she said.
Luckily, no residents were injured. But one firefighter was not so lucky.
“They were on the second floor pulling ceilings; trying to stop it from getting into the cockloft. It was already in the walls, and what happened was it burned down the whole set of stairs, so when he walked back, actually, the stairs gave way,” said Steven McGill, Chief of Department for the Jersey City Department of Public Safety. “He fell about 10, 15 feet.”
The firefighter was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Gooding was grateful for the firefighters who kept the flames from spreading any faster.
“They did a good job,” she beamed.
Officials say only part of the second floor was spared in the fire, which remains under investigation.