D.C. firefighters using an extension ladder and more than a little speed rescued without injury yesterday a young woman they found clinging to a second-floor window air conditioner in a burning home in Northwest, fire officials said.

They said six firefighters suffered a variety of minor injuries in the blaze, which apparently started about 5:30 p.m. in a kerosene space heater on the first floor of a two-story semidetached home at 2609 Hamlin St. NE.

It was first reported that several persons were trapped inside, officials said, and when firefighters arrived minutes after the alarm they saw a woman dangling from an air conditioner in a second-floor window at the front of the house.

Officials on the scene said the woman, who was not immediately identified, was apparently afraid to drop the ground, so firefighters quickly extended a ladder to her from a pumper truck, then raced up the ladder to help her make her way down.

"I don't know how she held on so long. It had to be hot as hell," said Joseph Francella, one of the firefighters who helped her down the ladder. "I asked her if anyone else was inside, and she said no," Francella said.