Good Samaritans rescue woman, 2 kids from fire in Pawtucket apartment building

Blackstone Valley

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — A group of good Samaritans sprang into action Wednesday afternoon when a mother and her two children became trapped in a Pawtucket apartment building.

Carmen Velazquez, who happened to be working in the apartment building next door, said she knew something was wrong when she heard the fire alarm go off.

“After we heard the alarm, my stepfather came out and said there was smoke coming out of the building,” Velazquez recalled. (Velazquez’s family also lives in the apartment next door to where the fire broke out.)

When Velazquez and her colleague went outside to investigate, they saw a woman and her two children in one of the windows on the second floor of the building.

“We saw that she was trying to jump out of the window,” Velazquez said. “So me and [my coworker] and my uncle decided to help her … and make sure the kids were secure.”

The rescue was caught on camera by a neighbor, who shared that footage with 12 News. Pawtucket Fire Chief William Sisson said everyone who was inside the building was able to escape.

“It was scary because I saw children,” Velazquez said. “I got a little bit anxious because I cannot imagine somebody going through that experience, especially while inhaling a lot of smoke.”

The fire, according to Sisson, started in the kitchen of an apartment on the first floor.

Sisson said one of the residents was cooking when the fire broke out, and she ended up hurting herself while putting out the flames.

That resident was transported to the hospital with minor injuries. No one else was injured, Sisson said.

While the resident put the bulk of the fire out herself, Sisson said there were still hot spots that needed to be extinguished and monitored.

The building as a whole, Sisson said, did not sustain any serious damage.

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