BROOKLYN - A 3-year-old boy was thrown from a fire escape during a heroic rescue when flames broke out in his Prospect Park South building.

Four families have been left without a home following the fire, which broke out inside a grocery store at 83 East 18th St., near Church Avenue. Residents say smoke forced some of them out onto a second-floor escape, but the ladder was jammed.

The toddler's mother says she made the quick decision to have her 11-year-old daughter throw the boy down to a group of men who caught him on the street. The boy was not injured.

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries while fighting the flames.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.