By Kelly Werthmann

WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) – When an apartment building in Westminster went up in flames early Sunday morning, neighbors jumped into action to help.

(credit: CBS)

“People were yelling. It was awful. They were jumping from windows,” Dawn Stuart said.

Stuart lives in the building across from the one that caught fire at the Westbury Apartments on 115th Avenue. She woke to the screams and alerted her husband, Charlie, and son to the chaos out their window. Within seconds, the family was rushing out to help.

Dawn Stuart (credit: CBS)

“The third floor over there,” Stuart pointed out to CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann, “a lady had to drop her daughter out of the window, and they caught her in a white sheet.”

Apartment fire in Westminster (credit: @bvargas94)

In a garden level unit, Stuart said a woman was trapped and screaming for help. That woman’s 9-year-old son managed to escape the flames, but he couldn’t get his mother, who’s a double-amputee, out to safety.

Seeing the worried child, Stuart said she brought the boy to her apartment to keep him safe.

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(credit: CBS)

“And he said, ‘My mom! My mom!’ He was worried about his mom and he was worried about his dog,” she said of the boy. “I said to him when he came in, ‘Do you believe in God?’ And he said, ‘yes,’ and I said, ‘Then you pray with Charlie.’ They did and his mom, they got her out. And then later on they found his dog.”

CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann interviews Dawn Stuart. (credit: CBS)

Many other neighbors came together to help those in need, Stuart explained. A brave act of kindness amid chaos she says defines their community.

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“I knew our neighbors needed us,” she said. “We’re a community. We come together and we do a lot here. If somebody’s in trouble, we help them.”

Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team as the morning reporter in 2012. After serving as weekend morning anchor, Kelly is now Covering Colorado First for CBS4 News at 10. Connect with Kelly on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @KellyCBS4.


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