SEATTLE – Firefighters rescued six people from the rooftop of a burning house and an elderly woman jumped to safety as a blaze destroyed the Seattle home early Friday.
Seattle Fire Department Lt. Sue Stangl said a woman in her 70s had to jump from the house's roof into the arms of a firefighter and a police officer as the flames advanced. It was a 10-foot drop.
The fire department received a call about the fire in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood at about 4 a.m., Stangl said. They arrived at the home minutes later and saw seven people on the roof — six on the west side of the house and the elderly woman on the other side. One person had already escaped.
Firefighters used a ladder to reach the group and hurriedly lowered them one by one. Meanwhile, the firefighter and police officer talked the woman to the edge of the roof and persuaded her to jump.
"It went as well as it could have," Stangl said.
A total of eight people escaped the fire, which destroyed the two-story house. Stangl said the residents are related, but she had no further details.
The bright flames attracted attention from the neighborhood on a cold winter night, and the fire continued burning late into the morning.
One of the residents who was rescued was a teenage girl, Holly Yeager told KOMO News.
"She was standing on the side of the street, her hands were burned, and she just had a T-shirt on," said Yeager, who witnessed the blaze.
"The neighbors tried to offer clothing, but they were just in too much shock," she said.
All residents of the home were transported to a hospital. Stangl said the elderly woman was in critical condition but was expected to recover.
She said the cause of the fire is not yet known.
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