Woman describes escape from burning building, "I just took a chance, and I jumped out the window"

A Watertown woman is telling her story after she escaped from a burning building.

Firefighters say they were called to an apartment building at 239 High St. in Watertown around 3:00 a.m. on Tuesday. Watertown Fire Department Battalion Chief Paul Fitzgerald says when the first crews arrived, they found heavy fire and smoke, with flames blocking the two staircases.

Jessica Lewis lived on the second floor of that building. She says she woke up in the middle of the night to find flames in her living room and smoke blocking her front door. Lewis ran to her back window to try to escape. It was the only option she had left.

"I'm dangling out the window screaming for help," says Lewis. "It seemed like no one was coming quick, and I could feel the steam and the heat. I just took a chance, and I jumped out the window."

Lewis says she fell onto the ground, injuring both of her ankles, her back, and her tailbone. She was treated at Samaritan Medical Center and released. She's now staying with a friend.

Fire crews say two others were treated for smoke inhalation. Investigators say the fire started on the front porch, and a witness claims to have seen someone pouring gasoline. It will ultimately be up to the police department to decide if this was a case of arson. Police say they have interviewed several people, but no one has been arrested, yet.

Lewis says if someone is responsible, she wants them prosecuted. She lost everything in the fire, and it will take weeks for her to recover from her injuries.

"I'm just sad that it happened," says Lewis. "I never thought I'd have to go through something like that, and I did. It's very scary because you never know when your life is going to get taken."

To help Lewis or other people affected by the fire, contact the American Red Cross at (315) 782-4410.