According to reports on the Fire Department scanner, the brush fires stopped at a brook near Cedardale, but then began spreading to either side of the brook. The fires then began spreading back toward the Forest Acres apartments.
Even though the building fire was under control, heavy smoke continued to pour out of it. Almost half of the upper part of the building was gutted and the roof had collapsed. Fire officials said a fire wall between two connected apartment buildings, plus aggressive work by firefighters, kept flames from spreading from the burning structure to the adjacent one.
State police have been called in to investigate the cause of the fire. Red Cross workers were on the scene to find temporary housing for victims and provide other help.
After the woman holding the baby jumped, all other tenants of the Forest Acres apartment building managed to get out safely and told a frightening tale of their homes going up in flames.
Amanda Feind, who lives in the building with her boyfriend and infant son, said they smelled smoke just after 1 p.m. today while the baby was napping. She said from her third-floor window she saw a man pull up in a car and yell toward the building, "Everybody get out.'' He was a Fire Department official.
Feind grabbed her baby and she and her boyfriend knocked on doors of other apartments. About 10 people ran out of the building and gathered in a crowd outside, she said. She said a disabled man who uses an oxygen tank and lives in the apartment below hers was helped from the building by Trinity EMS ambulance company workers.
"I think everybody got out safely,'' Fiend said, as she watched firefighters from two ladder trucks pour water on the roof and walls of the building in an effort to keep flames from spreading. She said her three cats were still in her apartment.