SOUTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. (PIX11) — A father dropped his toddler out of a window Monday morning after their New Jersey apartment building caught on fire, officials said.
Police and firefighters caught the 3-year-old as the child fell from the second-floor window of the apartment building in the Southridge Woods complex on Route 522 in South Brunswick, authorities said. Police initially described the child as a “baby.”
Multiple 911 callers reported the fire around 8:17 a.m. Firefighters and officers who were first on the scene found flames and smoke pouring out of the second- and third-floor apartments, police said. First responders spotted a man sticking his head out of a second-floor window of an apartment that was on fire and they rushed to help him.
He first dropped the child out of the window and into the arms of the first responders, police said. The man then jumped headfirst out of the window and police officers were able to catch him.
Both the child and the father suffered minor injuries, police said. The rescues were caught on the officers’ body-worn cameras and the video was shared by the South Brunswick Police Department Monday afternoon.
The hero first responders were identified by police as Sergeant William Merkler, Patrolman First Class Ryan Bartunek, Detective Sergeant John Penney, and Fire Chief Chris Perez.
Firefighters brought the fire under control Monday morning, but the scene was still active and the cause of the blaze remained under investigation.
Nearly 40 people — 15 families — were displaced by the fire, according to the American Red Cross, which sent members to the scene to help residents impacted by the blaze.