One man was killed and four other people were injured last night in an apartment fire in Reston, but a 2-year-old girl escaped injury after relatives dropped her three stories into a blanket held by neighbors.
The fire broke out about 6:50 p.m. in the 1400 block of Northgate Square on the first floor of the six-unit condominium apartments and spread to the other two floors, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department said.
Jason Gelardo, who lives across the street from the building where the fire broke out, said his girlfriend grabbed a comforter, and the two ran over to help.
Gelardo said he saw a woman jump from the third floor and land on the grass, and it appeared that she had broken some bones. He said he yelled to the woman's relatives inside that apartment to drop the woman's 2-year-old-daughter.
"They were all pretty hysterical," Gelardo said. "We held the blanket while they dropped her from the third story."
He said firefighters rescued the relatives by providing a ladder for them to climb down.
Several families were displaced, including residents of two neighboring apartment buildings that were temporarily evacuated for safety reasons.
Lt. Mark Stone, a fire department spokesman, said residents of two neighboring buildings were expected to return home, except for those in two units that were damaged by water or smoke. He said residents of the building where the fire broke out were staying in motels or with friends or family.
Stone said the four injured people were being treated at hospitals for injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening. He said the man who died, who had not been identified late last night, was found inside the apartment building.
Stone said investigators were trying to determine the cause of the blaze, which resulted in an estimated $200,000 in damage.