Cops who found themselves on the losing end of a fight with a mob of armed thugs in front of a Staten Island home were rescued Tuesday -- by firefighters shooting a water cannon.
"The crowd start[ed] to jump and start beating up on the cops," one stunned Fire Department source told The Post.
That's when a fire truck from Engine Co. 158 down the street from the Mariners Harbor home arrived, the source said.
Then one firefighter "got up on the deck gun, and he aimed at people's legs and just nailed them with water and drove them back," the source said.
"The cops were very appreciative.”
Three cops suffered minor injuries in the melee on Harbor Road at about 3:30 p.m.
It began apparently after a 15-year-old girl who lives in the home refused to take sides in an earlier fight at Port Richmond HS -- and angry classmates and their gangster pals swarmed her family's home, threatening her.
"I was scared. I thought, OK, oh, my God, what am I going to do?" the terrified teen told The Post last night. "They had bats, they had the kind of bars you lock car steering wheels with, running up the block.”
The situation took an even more serious turn when one thug in the crowd of about 40 flashed a firearm, she said.
"My mom was screaming, ‘He's got a gun! He's got a gun!' ” said the girl. "One of them was sticking their tongue out, and they had a blade on it."
The girl, who asked that her name not be revealed, said she suffers from a hole in her heart -- and that the creeps even taunted her about that.
"They were saying, ‘You've got a heart condition -- I'm going to hit you in the chest!' ” she said.
The girl's older brother, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said "there was a scuffle, and then a cop threw one of the guys on the ground because the guy shoved him, and it all went downhill from there.
"There were about 15 to 20 guys around the cop. So a firefighter got on top of the truck, turned on the pump, and was just hosing them down to get them off the driveway."
The brother said his 76-year-old grandmother hid in the house along with other family members, waiting for authorities to get things under control.
"At one point, the cops seemed to have their hands more full than they planned," he said.
Nine people were taken into custody, police said. Charges against them were pending.
As for the teen at the center of the debacle, she said she doesn't plan on returning to the school.
Republished with permission of The New York Post