Two children are seriously hurt after their grandmother threw one from a burning building and the other fell from a fire ladder while trying to escape, D.C. fire officials say.
A fire broke out on the second floor of an apartment building in the 4400 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SW. A grandmother on a floor above the fire dropped an 18-month-old out of the window, D.C. Fire and EMS said.
Derrick Ferguson, a resident of the building, told News4 he ran outside when he heard people screaming.
Ferguson said he caught the toddler, but the other child fell to the ground. That child, who is six, was on a fire truck ladder with his grandmother but fell from the ladder.
"I caught one of them, but wasn't able to catch the other one and he hit his head on the side of the dish cable box," Ferguson said.
Fire officials say both children are in serious condition, but are stable.
"We're thankful somebody was in place to catch that child," said D.C. Fire & EMS spokesman Vito Maggiolo.
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The grandmother was rescued safely via ladder. Her injuries are not life-threatening.
Sixteen residents in the building are displaced, and the Red Cross is providing assistance, the fire department said.
Firefighters extinguished the blaze and discovered there were no working smoke detectors in the apartment where the fire started.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for updates to this developing story.
CORRECTION (Dec. 3, 2019, 10:45 a.m.): An earlier version of this story said the grandmother threw both children to safety. She threw the younger child, but the older child fell from a ladder.