'We told him to jump, he had to.' Men describe saving family from burning building

Josh - vail pine place fire.jpg

Bystanders jumped in to help save a family trapped by flames in northwest Columbus apartment building, convincing one man to jump to his safety.

The fire broke out Thursday afternoon at The Pines at Tuttle Crossing, quickly spreading through the building. Ryan McMillen saw the fire start, then noticed a family trapped on their second floor balcony with the flames closing in on them. With the help of another man, they saved the mom, dad and their toddler. "We told him to jump, he had to," McMillen said. "We feel like heroes today."

Fortunately, there is a fire station directly in front of the apartment complex. The flames and smoke spread so quickly, responding firefighters called a second alarm to bring in more units to help. Columbus Fire Chief Kevin O'Connor said the proximity of the apartments to a fire station played a role in everyone getting out safely and firefighters being able to respond quickly.

Sixteen apartments at the Tuttle-area complex are now uninhabitable because of the flames. Firefighters haven't said yet how the fire started, and investigators are looking into it.

The Red Cross is helping out the approximately 30 people who are displaced by the fire.

Chief Kevin O'Connor estimates that there are 30 people that have been displaced.