Neighbors jump in to save children from apartment fire in Mesa

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

MESA, Ariz. -- It was an incredible rescue in Mesa Monday, as neighbors formed a human chain to save some children trapped by a fire.

Residents at the complex near Dobson and Broadway in Mesa jumped into action after a fire broke out at the building. They were able to lower two small children from third floor apartment, but then they couldn’t get to them by the stairs that were filled with smoke.

“Seen people screaming and hollering,” said a man named Chris.

“Mom and two babies upstairs,” said Ryan Heidenreich.

Heidenreich decided to scale the building by way of the balconies. The fire was burning in a second floor apartment.

Joelle Rozell was waiting on that balcony with four-year-old Chelsea, and one-year-old Pierson.

"One of the guys is yelling just wait, just wait, ma’am, we're going to get these kids," Rozell said.

“I just lowered them down,” Heidenreich said. “I was kind of straddled and I just lowered them down.”

Chris and Kevin Andrews positioned themselves on the second floor balcony to receive that precious delivery. “Man just dropped them down,” Chris said. “I grabbed them, handed them off to him, and it’s time to go.  Big old fire, so got to get out of there, you know what I mean?”

“From the second balcony we ran outside,” Andrews said.  “And ran down here to where the fire trucks are sitting.”

Firefighters were in the stairwell by then and got the adults out of the apartment.

“I hugged every last one of them,” Rozell said. “Hugged them so tight. You guys are so amazing!”

Firefighters said six apartments were damaged by the fire. Apartment management relocated tenants to other apartments. The fire department is still investigating the cause.