(LAS VEGAS) — A homeless man came to the rescue of two small children who were trapped inside a burning apartment in Las Vegas on Friday, authorities said.
Anival Angulo, 36, who is currently homeless, noticed smoke coming from an east Las Vegas apartment building and heard children crying as he was walking by the area just before noon on Friday. He jumped over a locked gate into the complex and saw smoke billowing through a barred security door of a smoldering apartment, according to a press release from Las Vegas Fire and Rescue.
Angulo saw a 3-year-old girl standing near the door inside the smoke-filled apartment, but the door was dead-bolt locked and she couldn’t get out. So Angulo pulled on the steel bars of the door, bending it upward, causing the dead-bolt lock to unlatch. The door opened and the little girl ran to him, wrapping her arms around his waist, authorities said.
Through the smoke, Angulo could see another small child on the floor of the apartment. He pulled the 10-month-old baby out and took both children to safety away from the building, authorities said.
The two children were later transported to Las Vegas’ University Medical Center for minor smoke inhalation. They are expected to recover, authorities said. There were no other reported injuries
“Without the quick action of Angulo, the children would have probably suffered severe smoke inhalation with burns. His action certainly saved the children’s life,” the Las Vegas Fire and Rescue said in a statement Friday.
Authorities said the cause of the fire has been ruled an accident. Investigators determined the flames ignited from cooking grease in a pan on a stove in the kitchen. The two children were in the living room when the fire started and their grandfather, who was watching them, was in a back bedroom at the time.
The flames gutted the kitchen and the living room, while the rest of the apartment suffered heavy heat and smoke damage. The apartment next door had minor smoke damage, authorities said.
Las Vegas Fire and Rescue received multiple calls about a fire at an apartment where children were trapped inside at 11:33 a.m. local time. When firefighters arrived on scene, flames and smoke were billowing out of the windows and door of an apartment in a one-story, wood-framed building that contained four units. The firefighters searched for the children and got the blaze under control in less than 10 minutes, authorities said.
The American Red Cross is assisting three adults and a child displaced by the blaze.
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