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MIDDLEPORT, N.Y.- Niagara County firefighters, sheriff's deputies, and Middleport police teamed up to rescue a mother and her four children from a burning apartment complex in Middleport Wednesday morning.

Police Chief John Swick says he attempted to enter the building but was driven back by thick black smoke. He then ran to the back where he says he saw a woman at a second story window. Swick says she told him her four children were still in the burning apartment with her. So Chief Swick says he told her to lower them down from the window so he could catch them one by one. They were then taken to an ambulance which soon arrived.

Neither the mother nor her four children, ages 7, 6, 2, and 6 months were hurt. The mother's sister also used a ladder propped up by firefighters to escape from an adjacent roof.

The four unit building is listed as a total loss. The Red Cross is sheltering 11 residents of the building including the family.