By Cleve Bryan


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MARMORA, N.J. (CBS) – A fire engulfed a building in Cape May County and two good Samaritans put their lives on the line to rescue two people stuck inside. There’s extensive damage to a salon with an apartment attached along Route 9 in Marmora, but no loss of life thanks to a father and daughter rescue team.

A fast-growing fire consuming the Chop Shop Hair Salon, with an upstairs apartment, created a terrifying scene along Route 9 in Marmora on Sunday.

“It was engulfed in flames, like it was moving quick,” said witness Emily Scherer.

The salon was closed but two men were trapped in the rear upstairs apartment. The fire consumed an outdoor staircase which was their only way to escape.

“While en route we were informed of possible trapped victims on the second floor,” said Chief Jay Newman of the Marmora Volunteer Fire Company.

As the growing crowd became increasingly nervous, local contractor Jim Cox and his daughter Stephanie pulled up in a van and snapped into action.

“We pulled over, we ran over and right away my daughter was talking to one of the boys upstairs and we realized there was two of them and they said there was no way out because the porch was burning,” said Jim Cox.

With the outdoor staircase on fire, the two young men had no way to escape the second floor.

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Without hesitation, Jim grabbed the 20-foot extension ladder on his van and brought it to their window.

“I got behind and held it,” said Cox. “My daughter held it from the front to stabilize it and they were good at getting out. They were ready.”

Within minutes of the rescue, the room was on fire.

“We appreciate everything you did,” a firefighter told Cox.

Firefighters from the Marmora Volunteer Company arrived within six minutes of the call and with the help of neighboring departments, controlled the fire within an hour.

Cox gave one of the barefoot survivors some socks and a sweatshirt and took off before many knew who to thank.

Cox says he and Stephanie are just glad they were there to help.

“I thank God that the Lord put me here at the right time and place and thanks goes to God actually,” said Cox.