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Sisters jump out of 5th floor window to escape apartment fire allegedly set by mother’s ex-boyfriend

Security footage captured two young girls jumping from the fifth floor of a Detroit apartment building after their mom’s ex-boyfriend allegedly set it on fire. 

The video shows unidentified neighbors standing next to a mattress laid out on the sidewalk prior to raising their arms to catch an 8-year-old girl who successfully made it out.

The girl then looked up at the building, where her sister and mother remained trapped before throwing clothes onto the mattress to cushion their fall. 

The 14-year-old sister jumped out next, but landed so hard that she broke both her ankles and a wrist, FOX 2 Detroit reported. She is expected to make a full recovery. 

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The mother was rescued by firefighters who used a ladder. Her ex-boyfriend, 43-year-old Marion Scruggs, is accused of setting the apartment on fire.  

Security cameras inside caught a man believed to be Scruggs dousing the outside of the apartment door with gasoline, lighting a cigarette and then using it to light it on fire.

“This person tried to kill not just the whole family, but any and everybody that was in that building,” Detroit Police Chief James White told FOX 2.  

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Suspect in Detroit apartment fire
Older sister jumps during Detroit apartment fire

Scruggs was taken into custody within 24 hours of the incident. He reportedly 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 not known if it was the same victim involved in the apartment fire.

Online records show Scruggs is currently in custody on charges of first-degree home invasion, first-degree arson and assault with intent to murder, with bail set at $1 million. His next court date is set for Wednesday.

As for the good Samaritans who helped the sisters jump out of the apartment window, city officials are trying to find out who they are, so they can recognize them.

“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,” Commissioner Charles Simms of the Detroit Fire Department said. 

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