A New Jersey police officer helped catch two children jumping from a burning home’s second-story bathroom window on Monday.
Patrolman Brian Gay, who was one of the first responders on the scene, caught one young girl and helped break her sister’s fall as flames tore through the Sayreville property just before 2 p.m., NJ.com reported. The children were between 8- and 10-years-old.
“I looked at the people getting the ladder, I looked up, and she was already jumping,” Gay told ABC News about the moment he saved one of the youngsters. “As she was on her way down, I caught her.”
Just after spotting the fire, the girls’ 12-year-old cousin Jailin Holloway, who lives at the house, called 911 and jumped out of the same second-story window. Her aunt, who was caring for the children, dropped her 1-month-old baby son down in a carrier seat.
“They said ‘drop the baby, drop the baby,’ and they caught the baby,” said neighbor Annette Hokenjos, who watched the dramatic rescue unfurl. “You could see the fear on their faces as they were coming down.”
Sayreville assistant fire chief George Gawron caught the infant. The woman then escaped via a ladder placed against the house by three other neighbors.
All five family members were taken to New Brunswick’s Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, but none suffered serious injuries, Sayreville fire marshal Kevin Krushinski told MyCentralJersey.com.
Gay, meanwhile, received treatment for a shoulder and wrist injury which were sustained as he caught the children.
“I’m a little shaken up, but I’ll be alright,” he told NJ.com. “I’m glad to see that they’re okay.”
Sayreville Police Capt. Glenn Skarzynski praised the officer’s efforts, saying they were a “testament to our department and departments around the nation who perform selfless acts like this every day.”
Fire crews took more than an hour to put out the fire, which completely gutted the property. The blaze’s cause remains under investigation.