Toddler rescued from burning building

February 28, 2011 5:55:52 PM PST
A fire in San Francisco trapped five people on top of a two-story building Monday afternoon near the intersection of Third and La Salle in the Bayview. Firefighters rescued all of them, including a toddler who they carried down safely.

Dense black smoke poured from the second-story apartment. Inside, flames worked their way from the kitchen to the front bedroom. Firefighters got a ladder to the roof and one at a time rescued the residents of the burning apartment. One of them was Royal Toliver.

"Woke up to somebody banging on the wall and it was the guys, I guess next door, trying to wake us up because we were asleep," said Toliver.

Toliver says she and her boyfriend, Ronald Hills, and two-and-a-half-year-old Jasmine were in the front of the apartment when it caught fire. Her older daughter was in the kitchen.

"My daughter was up and I just found out that she was trying to play with the stove and that's how it caught on fire," said Toliver. "I didn't even know the house was on fire until I opened the door."

When Toliver did open the door, black smoke billowed into the bedroom.

"And I just started screaming for my daughter because she was in there and then the guys who were banging on the wall trying to get our attention were like, 'She's fine. She's on the roof,'" she said.

All four got to the roof and firefighters from Engine 17 and Truck 17 were able to bring them down, shaken but otherwise uninjured.

"I'm glad my baby and my boyfriend are fine and we're OK, but now our housing? where are we going to live now?" she said. "Whole house is burnt."

The Red Cross is helping the family with a place to stay. Firefighters say they were able to get the fire knocked down within five minutes. It was a quick response and a life-saving one.

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