Neighbors in Detroit used a mattress and themselves to soften the impact as two girls jumped from the fifth-floor window of their burning apartment building.

A 14-year-old girl broke both of her ankles and one of her wrists as she leaped from the window. Her eight-year-old sister also jumped from the burning building and was unharmed.

Apartment Fire Set by Mom's Ex-Boyfriend

Detroit police tell WJBK-TV that the man who set the fire is Marion Scruggs of Detroit. He is the ex-boyfriend of the girls' mother and is said to have a history of domestic violence. He was charged in 2019 after he set a girlfriend's home on fire killing one of her dogs that was trapped inside.

Detroit Police Chief James White says they were able to catch Scruggs within 24 hours of the incident.

"This person tried to kill not just the whole family, but any and everybody that was in that building," White says.


Cameras Capture the Entire Incident

Green Light cameras outside the apartment building captured video of the girls jumping to safety.

Security cameras inside the apartment building captured footage of Scruggs dousing the outside door of the apartment with gasoline, lighting a cigarette, and using it to ignite the fire.

Clips from those videos are embedded below.

Fire Commissioner Praises Good Samaritans for Helping Girls to Safety

Charles Simms is the Commissioner of the Detroit Fire Department. He had kind words for the neighbors who helped bring the girls to safety.

"You know some people don't need the attention or the accolades, but we want to show them that not only are firefighters, EMTs, and police officers are heroes, but even citizens out there in the neighborhood – they're heroes as well," he said.


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