LODI (CBS13) — It is an incredible story of survival. People jumped from second-story windows to escape the flames of a Lodi apartment fire.
Thirty-three people inside the building are now displaced, but everyone is alive.READ MORE: 'It Is Infuriating': Personal Info On California Gun Owners Wrongly Made Public
Patricia Smith is holding her two-year-old a little more tight.
“Oh my baby,” Smith said. “We grabbed our babies and nothing else, nothing. We grabbed our babies and we were out the door.”
Mom Amanda Hocking did, too.
“It feels amazing,” Hocking said.
Their babies are okay. Both came back to their burned out homes to salvage a few possessions, recounting the flames engulfing their five-unit apartment building and people screaming for their lives.
“There was an old man hanging out the bathroom window, ‘Help, help, I’m going to die up here,’ ” Smith said. “So sad, dude.”
A snapshot captured some of the fiery commotion. It shows one person lying on the ground after jumping from a second story window, and a police officer leaning over them.
It also shows a good Samaritan trying to get a ladder to another window with someone still inside.READ MORE: Levee Safety A Focus In Aftermath Of Sacramento River Boat Fire near I-80 Bridge
Lodi Fire Chief Ken Johnson was on scene as firefighters arrived and ran inside the burning building to rescue the people trapped.
“This is a fire where seconds mattered,” Chief Johnson said. “Our fire crews had to ladder the building, enter into those occupancies, and in some instances, had to carry those people out of the building and resuscitate them on the ground.”
The chief was back at the apartment a day later,\ handing out stickers to the very children his department helped to save.
“Having those kids here and being able to maybe brighten their day a little bit with a sticker is heartwarming and it’s something I’m proud of,” Chief Johnson said.
Investigators believe the fire started on the back stairway before spreading into the house.
In all, three people were carried out by firefighters and two others jumped from the second floor to escape the flames. The 33 people inside all survived.
“Thank God nobody died,” Smith said.
The families now feel fortunate even after fire left them with no home.
The people who jumped from the second story are being treated for broken bones at a local hospital.MORE NEWS: Sacramento Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Lewd Acts With Children
The Red Cross is also helping the families displaced.