By Paul Burton

ROCKLAND (CBS) – A very close call for two teenagers trapped in a multi-family home on Division Street in Rockland as fire ripped through the third floor.

Six Rockland Firefighters responded within minutes and began the rescue from the top window and inside.

“It was so dark I couldn’t see anything,” Genesis Rojas said. Rojas says she was quickly overcome by smoke.

That’s when firefighter Tom Heaney rushes into the building to save her. “I was banging on the door and heard on the other side and she found me and assisted on the top of the stairs,” Heaney said.

Firefighters put a ladder up to a window on the third floor of this Division Street home to rescue a woman (Photo Courtesy: Rockland Fire Department)

Rojas was relieved when she saw firefighters. “I was scared but I felt he was my angel and someone here to help me,” Rojas said.

Genesis’ roommate was screaming for help out the window. She was rescued by firefighter Richard Furlong who put his training into action. “I was there trying to you know put my arms on her, tell her just come down nice and easy you’ll be alright, and once she got over that fear she started coming down,” Furlong said.

The fire was quickly put out. Both Genesis and her roommate were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation. Friday afternoon Genesis returned home very thankful to be alive and thanking her rescuers. “I want to thank God for putting them in our lives. Who knows who would’ve happened if they didn’t show up,” Rojas said.

Several animals were also rescued from the fire. The building is uninhabitable until several code violations get repaired. The fire remains under investigation but has been ruled accidental.

Paul Burton


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