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Jan 1, 2015 3:51 PM

Mom, girls jump from burning home into cops' arms

The Associated Press

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) Several police officers formed a human net to catch a woman and her two young daughters as they jumped from their burning home in southern New Jersey.

Camden County police said the fire on Atlantic Avenue in Camden was reported around 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, when residents notified two officers who happened to be on patrol in the area. They told them the woman and her children, ages 4 and 7, were trapped on the home's second floor.

Two other police officers soon arrived at the home, and all four gained entry by kicking open the front door. They tried to find the family, but thick smoke and heavy flames hampered their efforts.

One officer collapsed and was helped out of the home as another officer shouted for the mother to take her children to a rear window, police said.

Six other county officers who had responded to the scene circled beneath the window and locked arms, creating a human net. They encouraged the mother and her daughters to jump and safely caught all three.

The woman and her children remained hospitalized in critical condition Thursday with undisclosed injuries. Their names were not released.

One officer was treated for severe smoke inhalation and was released from a hospital Thursday.

"I'm extremely proud of the heroic actions taken by officers who responded to this fire," Chief J. Scott Thomson said. "They risked their lives without hesitation to make sure that the children and their mother got out, and because of their actions, this family is alive today."


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