Mother and baby leap to safety during Lakewood apartment fire

A fire Friday at a Lakewood apartment complex displaced an estimated 70 residents, including a mother and child forced to drop from a second-floor balcony.

Shortly before 2 p.m., firefighters from West Pierce Fire & Rescue responded to the Eastwood Apartments in the 5300 block of Chicago Avenue Southwest.

They found heavy smoke and flames coming from the lower level, blocking a stairwell to the second floor, spokeswoman Hallie McCurdy said.

Firefighters gained control within an hour, but not before the mother and the baby escaped from the second floor, McCurdy said.

“The mother dropped her baby from the second floor,” McCurdy said. “There was nobody down there to catch the baby.”

She estimated the drop at 8 or 9 feet.

The mother leaped down after the child, McCurdy said. Firefighters treated both of them, then took them to hospitals.

Six units were damaged by the fire, but residents in 20 more units were forced to leave because their apartments didn’t have power.

One firefighter was injured during the incident and taken to a hospital for treatment.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, McCurdy said.