LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – A homeless man is being called a hero by firefighters after rescuing a 3-year-old girl and a 10-month-old baby from a burning apartment fire Friday.
The fire broke out in the apartment on the 2600 block of East Mesquite Avenue around 11:30 a.m. Friday, Las Vegas Fire and Rescue spokesman Tim Szymanski said.
The two children were in the living room of the apartment when the fire started on the stove in a pan full of cooking grease. Their grandfather, who was watching the children, was in a back bedroom.
Smoke started to billow out the open front door, but a closed and deadbolt-locked security bar door was closed, trapping the children inside.
Szymanski said Anival Angulo, who is currently homeless, was walking by the apartment building, noticed smoke, then heard the children crying. Angulo, 36, jumped a locked gate into the complex, found smoke coming out the security door and saw the little girl standing near the door in the smoke-filled apartment.
When the child couldn’t open the door, Angulo starting pulling on the steel door and was able to bend it upward. unlatching the deadbolt lock and opening the door.
The little girl ran to him and wrapped her arms around his waist. Through the smoke, Angulo saw the leg of an infant on the floor, reached down and pulled the infant out.
Firefighters arrived moments later and had the fire under control in less than ten minutes.
Both of the kids were taken taken to University Medical Center to be checked for minor smoke inhalation.
“His action certainly saved the children’s life,” Szymanski said.
The children’s grandfather was not injured. The fire gutted the kitchen and living room and caused heavy heat and smoke damage to the rest of the apartment. Damage is estimated at $50,000.