Firefighters caught a baby tossed to safety from a third-floor window as an early morning fire swept through a building that housed apartments and a business in Philadelphia's Frankford section, injuring nine people.
The blaze in a building at Frankford Avenue and Sellers Street that includes apartments and a business around 4 a.m. Tuesday left five adults and four children in stable condition, said firefighters.
Firefighters arrived to find fire on the second floor and creeping toward the third floor. Someone on the third floor tossed a baby into the arms of firefighters below, said firefighters.
Firefighters then used ladders to help 12 residents flee the flames. In total, 21 residents were left out of their homes, said the American Red Cross Eastern Pennsylvania, which assisted the five displaced families.
"They did a good job, they saved everybody," said Sam Balech of Leandro's Pizza, which is on the first floor. "Everybody's safe, everybody's alive, that's the most important thing."
The blaze also impacted the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority's Market-Frankford Line, halting service as firefighters battled the blaze. Besides the El, the blaze also diverted SEPTA bus routes 3 and 5.
Four birds, two cats, a hermit crab, a pet mouse and a snake died in the blaze, said Red Paw Emergency Relief. Seven cats, a dog, a hamster and a Guinea pig made it out of the fire.
The cause of the blaze remained under investigation early Tuesday.