4-year-old rescued from burning building by hero bystander

A family is grateful to a man who stepped in within seconds of tragedy, as fire tore through a Linden apartment building. (3/27/14)

LINDEN - A family is grateful to a man who stepped in within seconds of tragedy, as fire tore through a Linden apartment building.

Fire crews were at the scene of two fires along Saint Georges Avenue in Linden. 

The first fire started shortly after 8 p.m. at a two-story commercial building at 1228 East Saint Georges Ave. The fire was upgraded to three alarms as one side of the building was in danger of collapsing. 

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A 4-year-old child was heard screaming from on top of that building. He was rescued by Jeremy Stathum, a bystander who climbed a fire escape moments before fire reached him. He was later reunited with his parents on the ground, who say they got separated trying to escape.

Officials say the preliminary cause of the fire appears to be sparks from a kitchen appliance.

A second fire started just before 9 p.m. at a two-story building at 1233 West Saint Georges Ave. The fires are just over 2 miles apart. 

Firefighters from Elizabeth and Roselle were called in to assist with the fire.   

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