A group of young girls and at least one adult were huddled screaming on a second-floor balcony above a auto wash while flames raged out the windows just a few feet behind them, according to a short video posted to the Facebook group Life in Edgewater and later on YouTube.
The person who took the video, Ilker Kesiktas, said that he and his friends tried to stop the fire by grabbing a fire extinguisher, but the flames were out to control. As she waited her turn to exit the balcony onto the ladders men were holding below, she was burned slightly by sparks from the growing fire.
Officials said the fire began around 7 p.m.
The ladders were too short to reach the balcony and kept falling over, so Twomey said she chose to jump down.
"It was one of the bravest things I've seen", McPartland told reporters.
Good Samaritan Tony Nehmi saw heavy smoke from his store across the street from the dance studio and drove over to help, not yet realizing the gravity of the situation, he told ABC News.
"People were telling me it was bad. They escaped due to the bravery of these two guys". "Great job by multiple fire departments". "I didn't care. I just want to get them out, before anything happens".
Harrowing video shows a crowd of people trying to help girls trapped in a burning building in Edgewater, New Jersey escape.
Five people were transported to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, and about 10 to 15 suffered minor injuries.
The structure houses five different businesses, including a vehicle wash and a restaurant where authorities think the fire may have started.
Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire.