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Three rescued from burning KC apartment building

Firefighters rescued three people from the third floor of a burning apartment building in the northeast part of Kansas City late Tuesday night.

One of the victims was taken in stable condition to a nearby hospital for smoke inhalation. The two others were treated at the scene.

The fire started around 11:40 p.m., on the top floor of a three-story brick building at Belmont Boulevard and St. John Avenue, according to Battalion Chief Joe Vitale of the Kansas City Fire Department.

When firefighters arrived, they saw a man and a woman hanging out of two of the building's front windows, threatening to jump. Smoke was billowing from that floor.

Firefighters held them back while they set up ladders to the windows.

When a firefighter on a ladder approached the window where the man was, he "practically leaped out to the firefighter," Vitale said. The woman escaped through the same window immediately following him.

The two were guided down safely and treated at the scene.

Shortly after, firefighters rescued a third person who was caught in the back of the building on the same floor. They brought him down through an inside stairwell, and the man was conscious before paramedics rushed him to the hospital.

The fire was contained to the back of the building on the third floor, Vitale said. He added that the fire may have been set intentionally.

A bar that takes up the first floor of the building sustained minor water damage.

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