By Paul Burton

WOONSOCKET, R.I. (CBS) – Four people were taken to the hospital after a fire in Woonsocket on Saturday.

The fire broke out around 10:30 a.m. inside an apartment building on Hope Street.

Flames were so intense that several people had to jump out windows in order to escape. Several witnesses said one woman was forced to drop her baby out of a second story window into the arms of neighbors before leaping to safety as well.

Woonsocket firefighter Tim Walsh said people were still jumping from windows as the first firefighters arrived.

“We had two people jumping from the building as companies were arriving,” Walsh said.

Walsh said the building did not have any smoke detectors.

Two victims, a father and his infant son, were taken to the hospital, but later returned to the house.

Tony Santos, who had just moved in last month, says he was grateful that he managed to escape with his 3-month-old son Giovanni. Santos said he didn’t hear any smoke detectors and that a neighbor kicked open his door and yelled “fire.”

“I couldn’t even see in front of me,” he said. “At least we got out, we got out safe.”

The condition of the other two victims was not immediately clear, but Santos indicated that they suffered only minor smoke inhalation and he expected them to be okay.

woonsocket ff with baby1 Neighbors Help Rescue Baby From 2nd Floor Window Of Burning Apartment

A Woonsocket firefighter carries a baby from a burning apartment building. (Photo Credit: Ken LaBelle of NRIFirePhotos)

Another resident, Rolando Cruz said he was at work and rushed home when he heard about the fire. Cruz said firefighters managed to rescue his dog from the apartment.

Several families lived in the three-story apartment building. Red Cross was on scene to help the victims.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but fire investigators suspect a space heater may have sparked it.


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