ST. PETERS, Mo. – A fire in the early hours of Monday morning forced a St. Peters family of four to make a daring leap from the second floor to escape the smoke.

The fire broke out around 2:30 a.m. at the family’s condominium. John Schneider, chief of Central County Fire and Rescue, stated it took crews five minutes to respond and 13 minutes to put the fire out.

“Fortunately, when we got there, we met the four victims…they stated that the rest of their family was all self-extricated from the building fire. We had two cats parish, but we were fortunate enough to revive two cats and one dog,” Schneider said.

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Two adults and two children were transported to the hospital with smoke-inhalation injuries, according to the fire chief.

“They jumped from the second (floor) to the first. And then there was a little bit of space between the ground and that balcony. There was a neighbor that was assisting the family to get their little ones over the railing and down to the ground,” Schneider said.

Officials believe the fire began in the kitchen; however, an investigation is ongoing. Schneider advises residents to close interior doors at night to allow smoke detectors to detect smoke faster, providing more time to escape.