Meriden, Connecticut Fire Sends Eight To Hospital; Firefighter Engulfed In Flames

A Meriden woman is recovering from severe burns this afternoon after fire ripped through her home. The fire spread throughout the home sending those inside jumping out of windows to safety.

"It went up so fast there was just nothing we could do."

Neighbors watched helplessly as the home at 41 Hickory Street went up in flames.

"It was all orange, like an orange glow."

As soon as a neighbor saw the flames one person called 911, the other went outside to pull the fire alarm, but by the time they got back to the house, just a few minutes later, it was engulfed and they heard cries for help coming from inside.

"I heard Penny screaming for help. I ran over but you couldn't get close, so I told her you got to jump, you have to jump, and she said she was scared."

After some coaxing she lowered her kids down from a window then jumped herself. A police officer first on the scene helped people on the first floor escape.

"He was able to get the attention of the people on the first floor and jar open the back door with a rock. He walked away and soon after three people walked outside."

But the mother was badly burned when she went back inside to save her two kids, not knowing her husband already got them out.

"She was pitch black, she was holding her arms up like this and she couldn't put them down. It was real bad."

Investigators believe the fire started in a child's room on the floor first then quickly spread. This lucky pooch survived two hours in the flames - firefighters found him alive and well on the second floor.

Today fire victims picked through the debris looking for anything to salvage, but just about everything at the home was destroyed.

The woman who was burned was taken to the burn unit in Bridgeport. The people who had to jump from the second floor had some broken bones and other various injuries. Investigators are still trying to pinpoint a cause, but they say it is not suspicious.