Gwinnett County

Video shows woman forced to jump from window during Gwinnett apartment fire

Dramatic video shows a woman escaping an apartment fire that displaced more than two dozen people in Gwinnett County Monday.

Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach was at the Las Palmas complex on Seasons Parkway in Norcross where the fire broke out Monday morning.

Video shows a woman who was trapped on the second floor and couldn’t make it from the front door to her stairs. Neighbors yelled from below for her to jump out of a window.

Gehlbach talked the woman, who was still too rattled to talk to reporters. Neighbors said they pleaded with the woman to jump.

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“I had to shout at her, ‘Just get out!’” George Mungai said. “She was kind of trapped and I had to pull her off the edge. She was hesitant to jump out.”

Caroline Anderson and her husband got out after neighbors knocked on their door when they noticed smoke and flames around 3:15 a.m.

“It was incredibly scary to watch my house go up in flames,” Anderson said.

Gwinnett fire investigators said the fire started on a screened-in porch off the ground level. Flames then raced up the outside of the building, engulfing the back side of the apartments on all 13 floors.

Later Monday morning, some of the victims were able to get back inside to salvage a few important items. The American Red Cross responded to help nearly 30 people in the building to get back on their feet.

The exact cause of the fire is still being investigated, but a man who lives in that ground floor apartment told Gehlbach he ran electrical cords out to the porch and is also a smoker.

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