Two people trapped in a burning home jumped into the arms of East Windsor police officers early Tuesday, authorities said.
Patrol Officers Earl Biddy and Troy McWhorter caught the two unidentified residents when they dove from a second-story window as flames ripped through the Bristol Way home, police said.
Three adults, a man and two women, were in the house when the fire started, and there were no injuries, according to East Windsor Fire Company #1 Chief Kevin Brink. The call came in at 12:59 a.m. and fire companies were on the scene within 10 minutes.
“The flames were probably 15 to 20 feet in the air, the whole house was on fire,” Brink said. “I was the first fire unit on the scene and the whole house was already fully engulfed in fire, the roof was on fire, the whole house - I mean top to bottom. The people are extremely lucky that they got out, nobody got hurt.”
The house was unsafe to go inside so firefighters had to battle the blaze from the outside by surrounding the house, Brink said. As the flames were put out, thick smoke filled the area, Brink said.
“The whole front of that house and the roof was on fire – it was a lot of fire,” Brink said.
The majority of the fire was out within 20 to 30 minutes but firefighters remained at the scene for several hours making sure flames were out and wetting down hot spots.
A charred frame remained after area firefighters put out the flames. Two cars parked in front of the house were burned, and the siding on two neighbors’ houses had melted. Several witnesses said flames could be seen from Airport Road.
A next-door neighbor who asked not to be identified said he heard a loud bang and saw flames shooting out of the house next door when he looked out his bedroom window.
A total of 50 to 60 firefighters from area towns, including East Windsor, Hightstown, Cranbury, Plainsboro, Robbinsville, Monroe, West Windsor and Princeton Junction responded to what residents said looked like a “fireball.” Brink said around 20 firefighters came from his station. Both East Windsor rescue squads also responded as a precaution.
Brink said the local fire departments are completely staffed by volunteers, and sometimes it can take a few minutes longer to get to the scene than a paid department since people are coming from their homes, but is confident in the services they provide to the township.
“I feel 100 percent that we provide an excellent service to the town, and it’s top notch, no better than any other town could provide,” Brink said.
Officials said the fire remained under investigation.
This story was originally published at 5 a.m. Tuesday, and will be updated as information is available.