Two young girls leap from a building after mom’s ex-boyfriend starts fire in apartment

DETROIT, MI – A harrowing incident unfolded in a Detroit apartment complex when two young girls were forced to leap from the fifth floor to escape a fire, allegedly started by their mother’s former boyfriend.

Surveillance footage reveals the dramatic scene, as neighbors quickly assembled a makeshift safety net using a mattress. The youngest girl, aged eight, was the first to jump, landing safely into the arms of the waiting crowd below. After her descent, she began throwing clothes onto the mattress to provide additional cushioning for her mother and older sister still trapped above.

Her 14-year-old sister was next to make the perilous jump. Unfortunately, the impact resulted in the girl breaking both ankles and a wrist. Despite her injuries, reports indicate she is expected to fully recover.

The girls’ mother was eventually rescued by firefighters using a ladder. The alleged arsonist, identified as 43-year-old Marion Scruggs, was the woman’s ex-boyfriend. Security footage from inside the building appears to show a man, believed to be Scruggs, pouring gasoline on the apartment door before setting it alight with a lit cigarette.

Scruggs was apprehended within a day of the incident. His criminal history includes previous charges of domestic violence and an arson charge from 2019, where he was accused of intentionally setting a former girlfriend’s home ablaze, leading to the death of one of her dogs. It remains unclear if the same woman was the victim in both instances.

Currently, Scruggs is in custody facing charges of first-degree home invasion, first-degree arson, and assault with intent to murder. His bail is set at $1 million, with his next court appearance scheduled for Wednesday.

City officials are now seeking the brave neighbors who aided in the girls’ escape, intending to publicly acknowledge their heroic actions.