SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Neighbors braved the smoke and flames of a San Jose house fire Sunday to rescue a disabled man who was trapped inside the home, according to fire officials and family members.
San Jose fire officials said they received calls just before 11 a.m. reporting the home fire on Homepark Court.
“One of the callers (said) there were people trapped in the rear bedroom,” said San Jose Fire Battalion Chief Patricia Tapia. “So we updated the call to a second alarm for the potential of the rescue.”
But before firefighters arrived, neighbors jumped into action and rescued a 24-year-old man who is blind and can’t walk or talk.
“(They were) good Samaritans … four people came in and took him out of the bed,” said Lynette Holguin, the rescued man’s cousin. “(They) took him out safely across the street before the house got full of smoke.”
Among those who came to the rescue was Joseph Souza.
“I grabbed this hose from the house next door,” Souza told KPIX 5 as he stood outside the charred home. “We seen a lot of smoke coming from the house. You know smoke is coming out the cracks, the roof. I got the hose, just started soaking it, soaking the roof.”
It took 30 firefighters only a few minutes to put out the 2-alarm fire, containing most of the damage to the side of the house and the garage. Fortunately, no one was injured.
“I’m just thankful,” Holguin said. “It’s Mother’s Day and I’m still shaken up, and I had to help her (her aunt) because she was crying and panicking.”
Tapia said the neighbors were true heroes.
“I think they were aware of the circumstances of one of the occupants of the home and so they acted without regard to themselves because the fire was definitely burning into the home,” she said.
Holguin called them the family’s angels.
“To me they are, they’re our angels,” she said. “It wasn’t our time to go yet.”
A cause of the fire has yet to be determined.