2 girls jump out of 5th floor window after man sets fire to Detroit apartment

After their fifth floor apartment was set on fire, a 14-year-old girl broke both her ankles and one wrist jumping to safety from the window.

Her eight-year-old sister leaped out before her and was unharmed. 

Neighbors used a mattress and their bodies to cushion the fall for the two girls, while the mother waited to be saved by firefighters. 

"I think they did an amazing job and I think you're going to do just what comes natural," said Commissioner Charles Simms of the Detroit Fire Department.

The teenage girl sustained other injuries, but she is expected to make a full recovery.

"Many times people who try to jump out windows that high – it's a different outcome," Simms said.

The Detroit Fire Department used a ladder to save the mother from the fire. 

The entire incident was captured by Green Light cameras positioned outside the apartment building in the New Center neighborhood in Detroit.

One neighbor took off his sweatshirt to keep the teenage girl warm before she was carried away.

The man who set the apartment on fire is 43-year-old Marion Scruggs of Detroit. According to police, he used to be in a relationship with the mother of the two girls.

Also captured by security cameras inside the building, Scruggs can be seen dousing the outside of the apartment door with gasoline, lighting a cigarette, using it to set the place on fire, then fleeing. 

"This person tried to kill not just the whole family, but any and everybody that was in that building," said Detroit Police Chief James White. 

Detroit police apprehended Scruggs within 24 hours of the incident. Scruggs has a history of domestic violence; in 2019 he was charged for purposely lighting a girlfriend’s home on fire, trapping her dogs inside and killing one of them. It is unclear if it is the same victim as this incident.

The commissioner wants to thank the good Samaritans and highlight the good work of the firefighters.

"You know some people don't need the attention or the accolades, but we want to show them that not only are firefighters, EMTs and police officers are heroes, but even citizens out there in the neighborhood – they're heroes as well," Simms said.