Quincy police say they are investigating a possible burglary at the same apartment building where two people were rescued from the top floor of a two story apartment building during a Wednesday fire at 633 State in Quincy.
Quincy police tell WGEM News that the back door of the building had been broken into. However, officers aren't sure when that break-in took place.
The building's owner says that three people lived in the apartments. Quincy Fire Chief Joe Henning says crews also rescued a woman from the south side of the building via ladder. That woman was taken from the scene by ambulance. There is no word on her condition at this time.
Henning says he thinks the fire started on the first floor of the building, which was completed gutted by fire. Smoke from the apartment building fire could be seen for blocks.
Next door, Tom Klitz and William Waterkotte were repairing a home, when they noticed what was happening.
"He said do I call 9-1-1 I said 'yeah hurry up!' I got off the scaffel came over to the other side and that's when we noticed somebody moving curtains," Klitz said.
Kerrington Bailey says that he was in the upper floor when the fire started. He says that he saw smoke, and was ready to jump from a window when neighbors pulled up a ladder and helped him get out of the building.
Klitz and Waterkotte immediately grabbed a ladder they'd been using.
"He got the window open I got the extension ladder and brought it off to the side he was about ready to jump and I said 'No! the ladder is right there just come on out. Get out of there!"
Bailey says seeing Klitz in his window was like seeing an angel.
"I'm thankful for him because if it wasn't for him I would've been hurt some way or another either broke a leg or died at least, something," Bailey said.
Bailey was treated by paramedics on the scene. After getting Bailey out, the pair wasn't done yet.
"We were concerned there were other people in there and Tom went around knocking on all the doors and opened the back door and smoke billowed out," Watterkotte said.
Thankfully by that time firefighters had made it to the scene and rescued a woman from the front of the apartment building.
While both Klitz and Waterkotte saved someone's life today, they don't consider themselves heroes.
"We just felt lucky and glad we could be here and give the guy a Merry Christmas because that's the best he could ask for."
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