BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
A woman, four children and two dogs escaped out of a second-floor window after a Sunday morning fire in the basement of their Corona building trapped them in their apartment.
At approximately 10 a.m., Ramonita Rosa, 34, her daughters Arianna, 16, and Gianna, 10, niece Jaylynn, 12, and nephew Jacob, 10, were awakened by screaming neighbors, who were shouting “fire!”
By the time Rosa and the kids were out of bed, the smoke had completely surrounded the front door, trapping the five of them and two dogs in the apartment, located on the second floor of 56-14 Waldron St. in Corona.
“At that moment, all I could think is that I wanted to survive,” Rosa told the Queens Tribune. “I wasn’t going to stay here and watch my family die. I wanted to see my kids… survive.”
Rosa ran to the window with the children, while her neighbor and his daughter pulled a mattress from the trash, so that the family could jump onto it.
The building’s super, Roberto Flores, helped catch the children as they jumped one by one. According to Rosa, her youngest daughter, Gianna, was too scared to jump so her oldest, Arianna threw the family’s pets out the window first.
By the time that the three girls had exited the building through the window, firefighters had arrived and were able to get Rosa and her nephew out of the apartment safely with a ladder.
Seven people were treated on the scene by the RNA and an additional seven were transported to North Shore Hospital with serious, but non-life threatening, injuries, a spokesman for the FDNY said.
Fire marshals are still investigating the cause of the fire. However, the landlord said the blaze started when someone threw a cigarette that had not been extinguished into a trash can.
All four children stayed home from school on Monday due to minor injuries and to rest up.
Rosa said she has not yet paid a visit to her home, but hopes that there are only minor damages caused by smoke.
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400 x144 or firstname.lastname@example.org