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Posted: 8:32 p.m. Monday, June 25, 2012
By Dan Tordjman
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
A 2-year-old child was thrown out of a window to escape a house fire early Monday morning.
A neighbor saw smoke at the home on State Street and ran to help.
May Vereen said she saw a child standing outside the home and quickly realized people were stuck inside the home.
Only four people inside the home were able to escape out of the front door. Four others were forced to take the 15- to 20-foot jump out of the window.
A woman with cerebral palsy had to be lifted out of the window and hit her head on an air conditioner on the way down.
As she yelled for fellow neighbors to help, Vereen ran across the street to grab her ladder.
A man climbed the ladder and told the people to jump from a broken window on the second floor to safety.
Vereen said she watched as the adults inside the burning home tossed a toddler out of the window.
“They dropped the baby out the window. They caught the baby. And the other family members actually had to jump out the window,” Vereen said.
The boy landed in the waiting arms of his uncle, Jermaine Prince.
"I just came around the side of the house and caught him," Prince said. "I was just doing what I had to do."
The 19-year-old also tried putting out the fire with a hose and removing as much of the family's property from inside the home before the fire spread.
Fire officials said the fire started in the kitchen.
One of the survivors told us her step-daughter started it when she left her breakfast on the stove for too long.
"She came back and the whole stove was engulfed in flames," said Ojetta Prince. "I just wanted them to get out, wanted everybody to jump."
The Red Cross said five adults and three children were in the home. Four of those people were taken to a nearby hospital as a precaution, officials said.
The family said two people are still in the hospital, but they expect them all to be OK.
The Red Cross is helping the family.
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