By Diana Rocco
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – An apartment fire forced two residents to jump out windows in Southwest Philadelphia Wednesday night.
Dozens of residents were trapped inside their apartments by thick black smoke.
“There were people jumping out the windows, hanging out the windows, yelling for help on the fourth floor balcony,” said Pam Elliott, who lives on the second floor.
“I have a rug outside my door and that was on fire so I just sprayed with my fire extinguisher,” said Aaron Johnson.
Fire broke out in the second floor hallway of this four story apartment building on the 1000 block of South 48th Street just after 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Darren Elliott had to be rescued through his bathroom window by firefighters.
“I stood near the window trying to breath as much as I could,” said Elliott.
A woman and man jumped out their second story window before firefighters arrived.
“A second floor lady jumped. She hurt her back. She thought she was going to burn so she threw herself out,” said Hector Martinez, a first floor resident.
This is the third time firefighters have responded to a suspicious fire at this building in the last month. Property management tells Eyewitness News a non-resident has been sneaking in and starting the fires. They’ve chased him off several times.
“Trash cans on fire a couple Sundays ago. It’s terrible,” said Johnson.
“They need to get to bottom of this. My husband could have died in there because he was trapped for a minute,” said Elliott.
Twenty people were displaced and two were treated for minor injuries.
The fire marshal is now investigating.