Dramatic Rescue in North St. Paul Apartment Fire as Baby Tossed to Safety from 2nd-Story

April 22, 2018 10:27 PM

At least 10 units are damaged in a North St. Paul apartment building after a fire Sunday.

No one was injured, but a baby was tossed from a second-floor balcony to a firefighter, and another person had to jump from the same balcony for safety, according to fire officials. 


The fire started in a first-level apartment on the 2000 block of 7th Avenue East and spread to the second- and third-floor units above it, the fire department reports.

Sharon Stagg told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS she had to run from her first-floor apartment to get away from the smoke which she could see coming from the backside of her apartment building.

"It was pretty scary to hear the alarms going off and see people running down the hall," Stagg said. "By the time I got outside, we could see the black smoke coming from the back of the building and I figured it was on fire."

Stagg said she and other neighbors saw a firefighter carrying an infant in their arms as they came from the backside of the apartment building.

"We just saw the firemen with the baby," Stagg said. "We were like, whose baby? Who's got an infant? And then, I guess, one of the firefighters said they had to toss the baby over the balcony."

North St. Paul Fire Chief, Scott Duddeck, confirmed the infant had been tossed from the second floor balcony, and the adult who dropped the child into firefighter's arms also jumped to safety.

"The adult decided the flames and smoke were too close and tossed the child and firefighters did safely catch the infant," Duddeck said.  "Then, that individual, who was holding the child, also jumped from the balcony himself."

Michael Collins told KSTP he heard fire engines arriving and noticed neighbors were leaving the building in a hurry and that is when he decided to quickly leave, too.

"As I hit the first floor, I saw the stairs and stuff like that with a lot of smoke," Collins said.  "I was scared and it got real smokey and I could not see the stairs anymore and so I had to pull my shirt up over my mouth and run out the back door."

Authorities say the unit where the fire started was empty, and an investigation is ongoing as the cause is not yet known.

Everyone was able to escape, the fire department said.

However, up to 25 people have been displaced overnight. The Red Cross is assisting with placement.


Theresa Malloy and Jay Kolls

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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