Timing helped save a life when New Jersey cops were able to catch a 9-year-old girl who jumped from the balcony of her burning condo home. Little Sofya Doroshenko was not injured at all from the fall, as she fell right into the waiting arms of three police officers below.
Sofya Doroshenko jumped from the burning condo in Mahwah and fell three stories. Black smoke filled the windows and doorways of the home. There were reportedly 24 units at the housing complex, NewsMax reports.
“I didn’t know what to do and I just listened to them [the police officers] I just jumped because it was no chance,” the 9-year-old girl told local WABC-TV News. “I was at home, saw black smoke coming from the door of my room I went out on the balcony and began to wave my hands. I was thinking on the jump, don’t be scared.”
https://t.co/K31qB7EMM9 Sofya Doroshenko jumped to safety when the front door of her residence was blocked by smoke and fire.
— Тимофей Реформаторс (@Tawny145481) February 5, 2016
Sofya had been left home alone on Tuesday afternoon. A fire suddenly broke out at a residence across the hall. The 9-year-old girl attempted to flee down the hallway to safety, but the flames and smoke that quickly filled the hallway blocked her exit. The fire was reportedly started in the kitchen of an elderly neighbor as she was cooking.
Lt. Jeff Dino, one of the three police officers who saved the life of the 9-year-old girl when she jumped off the balcony of the burning condo, heralded Sofya’s grit and determination to survive. Sgt. Brendan Mullin and Officer Tom Solimano were the two other New Jersey hero cops who caught the little girl in danger of being swallowed up by the smoke and fire.
“She was the most confident, brave little kid that I’ve ever met. I’ve never seen anything like it. That kid was calm and in control. I thought we were going to have a hard time convincing her. She put complete faith in us and when she jumped back we caught her,” Lt. Dino said.
Sergeant Brendan Mullin wholeheartedly agreed with his brother officer. He said that Sofya deserves the most credit for the safe landing because of how she reacted when placed in mortal danger.
Police say there was only one thing for Sofya Doroshenko to do… https://t.co/mCLcGzROCR
— Fame & Talent (@fameandtalent) February 4, 2016
When an escape via the hallway proved impossible, the girl ran to the condo balcony. The fire spread rapidly, taking all the things the family owned but not the little girl’s life. A total of five homes were destroyed and several others were damaged during the blaze, MSN reports.
Sofya’s mother, Yulia Doroshenko, repeatedly expressed her gratitude to the police officers who saved her little girl’s life.
“I want to thank them. I didn’t believe this could happen, but it happened, and thank you for saving my child,” said Yulia Doroshenko. “She’s very brave but she’s also in stress.”
After talking about the incident, Sofya reportedly burst into tears and relived the feeling of falling after the emotionally-charged situation.
The police officers were first on the scene and immediately rushed inside the burning building to knock on doors and help to evacuate residents. It was not until the blaze forced them back outside that they spotted the 9-year-old girl in a pink shirt frantically waving from the balcony.
The fire started in the elderly woman’s third-floor unit and then quickly spread to the roof, according to Mahwah fire officials. Sofya suffered only a few scrapes during her daring escape from the intense blaze. No one else was reportedly hurt in the New Jersey fire.
[Image via Video Screengrab/ABC News]