WORCESTER, Mass. — They almost lost everything in a fire, but three families say they still have a lot to be thankful for.
Late Wednesday night, an apartment building on Hamilton Street quickly filled with smoke and flames had engulfed the back of the building.
"I would be dead. I would be dead, there's no doubt about it," said Danielle Cormier.
Thankfully, a group of Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) members from North High School were driving by.
"I was like, 'Is that a fire?' And we passed the house a little bit and Abdel was like, 'Yeah, that's a fire' so I was like 'Pull over,'" said Marquis Bell.
A man who was also driving by stopped to help and all five of them ran into the building with no hesitation.
"I knocked a couple times on the second door and no one was answering so we started kicking down the second door," said Jordan Parker.
"When we went in you could start to smell the fire and we were coughing a lot but we kind of pushed that aside," said Raesean Goodney.
Cormier says at first she had no idea what was happening.
"Five men are in my bedroom just screaming at me, I was about to get my baseball bat and it finally made sense that they were saying there's a fire in your house, so you need to leave, you need to get out," she said.
"I guess it was just like instinct we just grabbed them and ran right down," said Abderrah Mansebbai.
Everyone made it out safely, including at least six children who were sleeping inside. Since then, neighbors, co-workers, and friends have all come forward to help.
"I had the best Thanksgiving ever because my kids were all there with me, my cats were alive, it was the best Thanksgiving I've ever had," said Cormier.
Tenants say the fire was electrical and started in the attic. Worcester firefighters were able to put it out quickly so the building is not considered a complete loss.
Cox Media Group