EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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May 7, 2014

BREAKING UPDATE: Injuries to woman who jumped from burning Haverhill building are non-life threatening, police say

Brush fire which threatened nearby homes under control

HAVERHILL — The woman who jumped from the second floor of the burning Forest Acres apartment building with a child in her arms has non-life threatening injuries, police said.

They said she is undergoing surgery in a Boston hospital. Her child was not seriously injured, they said.

Police refused to release the name of the woman and child until after her surgery and condition update.

As of 4:30 p.m., the brush fire that began behind the apartments and spread toward nearby homes was under control. Some firefighters who were working the brush fire were packing up and leaving the scene. But other firefighters were still pouring water onto the building that burned.

Police Deputy Chief Donald Thompson said the woman jumped from a balcony outside a second-story apartment in the rear of the burning building. He said that when police and firefighters arrived at the fire scene, they were directed to the woman by onlookers. The rescue workers carried the victims to an ambulance to be taken to a hospital, Thompson said.

The Red Cross was on the scene of the apartment building fire to help find housing for tenants left homeless. More than just those people might need temporary housing, however, because power to several and possibly all of the buildings in the complex was off.

News of the woman who jumped with the child spread as the building fire was under control about 2:30 p.m. But then a series of windblown brush fires across several acres broke out nearby, forcing firefighters to scramble.

"This thing is getting out of control quickly,'' a firefighter said over the department scanner just before 3 p.m. today. "We need someone up here quickly.''

Fire officials said it appeared the brush fires dotted as many as seven acres. Firefighters were having trouble reaching the fires from the Forest Acres apartments property, so were trying to enter the brush land from near Cedardale Athletic Club. Police used ATVs to bring water to firefighters battling the brush fires.

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