Good Samaritan and neighbors help rescue mother and baby burned in apartment fire

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- A mother and baby are recovering in a Miami burn center following a fire at The Piper Village West Apartments in West Palm Beach Friday afternoon.

Neighbors say it was a team effort to get them out of the burning building. They also say a stranger helped drive the mother and child to the hospital.

Witnesses who saw the condition of the burn victims first hand say there was no time for someone to call 911 and wait for rescue crews to arrive.

The baby was listed in critical condition Friday night while the mother is in serious condition. Neighbors fear it could have been worse had they not stepped in.

Neighbor Michael Clark said he saw smoke, which signaled him to grab two of his cousins and rush inside the burning apartment to help anyone trapped inside.

"We just sprung into action," Clark described.

Officials with the West Palm Beach Fire Department say the fire started in a bedroom on the second floor.

Clark says he ran up the stairs to find the mother and baby running down the stairs.

"Her hair was smoking so she was burned up pretty bad. The baby, she was burned so bad the skin was peeling off of her," Clark described.

Clark says he and his cousins helped them out of the apartment.

Meanwhile, another neighbor, Key Durham, says she saw other kids running out of the apartment. "Everything was just a disaster," Durham described.

Durham says she grabbed those kids then scrambled to find help for the mother and baby.

"We put the lady in a stranger's car," Clark said.

"I'm stopping the guy like 'please can you take them to the hospital? Can you get them to the emergency room like ASAP, like now?'"Durham said.

She says a man driving a white Dodge Ram pulled down the road and let the mother and baby in his car. He drove them to the hospital.

"I'm very thankful that somebody was there, had the car running and was able to take them," Durham said.

Residents say they had never seen the man or that car on the street before, but say he was in the right place at the right time.

West Palm Beach Police, the West Palm Beach Fire Department and the State Fire Marshall are investigating the cause of the fire.

Detectives also say The Department of Children and Families is involved in the investigation.


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