Residents jump from 3rd floor windows to escape apartment fire

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DENVER -- Several victims of an early morning apartment fire had to make the incredible decision to jump from their third floor windows to save their own lives Monday.

The fire spread so quickly at the Kennedy Ridge Apartments, that it was their only option.

"I had to jump because I was completely… It was time. There was no more time," says apartment resident Denise Surina.

She woke up around 4:00 a.m. to the sound of her apartment burning.

"I wake up and I hear crackling and I go run to my living room and my patio window is bright orange," she says. "The fire exploded in the living room."

The fast moving flames trapped several people inside of their apartments with nowhere to turn.

"It was a chaotic scene by the fact there was numerous parties trapped on their balconies people were jumping from those balconies," says Lt. Phil Champagne with the Denver Fire Department.

"I just heard everybody screaming, jump!" says Ronnie La Tour, who watched as Denise made her decision. "If she wouldn't have jumped she would have died for sure."

Before saving her own life Denise rescued her two dogs.

"Some really nice neighbors, I don't know who they are but they caught the dogs and then they caught me when i jumped out the window," she says.

With only a few seconds left before her whole apartment went up in flames, Denise jumped.

"So I sat on my window sill and I turned around and hung by my hands and dropped down and these three guys at the bottom just all closed in on me when I got in on the bottom. I don't even think my feet touched."

Lucky to be alive, Denise Surina walked away without a scratch.

"I feel so lucky. I have renter's insurance, we're alive, no body got hurt other than my neighbor Carol."

Another woman forced to jump was injured from the fall.

"Right when I was telling my wife to get up and I was pushing my wife out the window here comes this body. Wham, right on the ground!" adds La Tour.

The woman suffered a severely broken leg but escaped with her life.

"We're very lucky there wasn't more tragedy involved in this fire," Lt. Champagne says.

The woman's broken leg was the only injury in this fire. All of the pets inside the building also made it out safely.

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