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A Selkirk Street mother and her boyfriend were hailed as heroes Wednesday for rescuing four children from their second-floor apartment as a fire destroyed the building.

The woman suffered a severe leg injury when she jumped to the ground from a second-floor window to escape the flames, then caught her infant child who was dropped down by her boyfriend.

She rushed back into the burning building to rescue her two older children, while her boyfriend was dropping the fourth child from the upstairs window to a neighbor who was standing below before firefighters arrived.

The woman, who was not publicly identified by the Buffalo Fire Department, was taken to the Erie County Medical Center by ambulance for treatment of the leg injury she suffered in her jump to safety.

By Wednesday night, the Red Cross was providing temporary housing for most of the occupants of three of the four apartments in the building at 149 Selkirk St.

Division Chief Donald McFeeley of the Buffalo Fire Department said investigators still were trying to find out the cause of the fire.

The fire began about 3 a.m. Wednesday and flames spread quickly from the first floor to the second floor, where the mother and her boyfriend lived with the woman’s four children. The boyfriend left the scene before city fire fighters arrived.

Firefighters worked for about two hours before declaring the blaze under control.

One firefighter was taken to the hospital for treatment of a shoulder injury.

Damage to the structure, whose roof was burned off in the fire, was estimated at about $85,000, McFeeley said.

Selkirk Street, just off Exchange Street in South Buffalo is in a neighborhood known to many as Little Hollywood.

email: mgryta@buffnews.com