Smoke was so intense, people in Manhattan could see it.
The girls were unable to break the glass, so then Nehmi climbed on the roof and broke a window to free them.
"I'm really grateful for the people who came over to help", said Twomey. "We have to do something immediately, otherwise we're going to lose these girls.'" The children started to climb over the railing but quickly realized the ladders were too short. "I only had a couple of seconds to save them, there was no time".
McPartland said he happened to be down the street when flames erupted through the Professional Arts Academy, and he witnessed the tail end of the drama as girls jumped to the ground. "Great job by multiple fire departments".
Nehmi, a father to two daughters and a son, said he never considered his own safety during the ordeal.
Edgewater Mayor Michel Joseph McPartland says that about 15 girls were treated for minor injuries and said that it was "one of the bravest things I've ever seen". "There's no room for any mistake".
She and others were able to escape through the door and the balcony, but there were two other girls from her class who could not get out.
As debris began to fall from the burning building two of the children had to fall to escape the blaze.
Five people were taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The building that caught fire houses multiple businesses including the dance studio and a hookah lounge.
Twomey said that while it's unfortunate that the studio and the equipment inside were destroyed, she's "just glad everyone is safe" and that "there were no awful injuries".