Mom drops 2 kids from burning 2nd-floor apartment into neighbors' arms

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by Catherine Holland

Video report by Tess Rafols

Posted on June 28, 2013 at 6:02 AM

Updated Friday, Jun 28 at 8:05 AM

PHOENIX -- A group of cousins was in the right place at the right time to save two young children from a raging apartment fire late Wednesday night.

It happened at about 11 p.m. at the North Park Village Apartments in the neighborhood of Seventh Street and Bell Road in Phoenix.

Fire crews were on the scene within three minutes, but the flames spread quickly through a shared attic space.

A woman was forced to drop her 3-year-old and 5-year-old from a second-floor balcony.

Neighbor Justin Rose, 24, and his 15-year-old cousin were waiting on the ground to catch them. Rose and his cousins were swimming when the saw the smoke from the fire and ran over to see if anybody needed help.

They saw the fire making its way to the woman's apartment and begged her to drop the kids.

"We told her, we're like, 'Ma'am, please. Hand your kids out the window. We'll count it down and you can drop the kids and we'll catch them,'" Rose said.

"I was thinking, 'Help these people. They could die,'" Rose's cousin said.

Rose and his cousins caught the kids. Neither one of the children was hurt.

"She put her trust in us and we came through for her," Rose said. 

The woman escaped unharmed, as well, but the fire destroyed her apartment. The Red Cross is helping them with their immediate needs.

Three other units were damaged.

Investigators are trying to determine what sparked the fire.

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