HAYWARD (KPIX 5) — A Hayward teen is being hailed a hero after he rescued his little brother from their burning house Friday night.

The boy is now recovering in the ICU at UCSF Benioff’s Children’s Hospital in Oakland, but his father says although he was hurt, he’s alive thanks to his big brother.

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The morning after the fire tore through the home on Cherry Way, neighbors were still reliving the harrowing moments. Neighbor Paul Stanfield says he ran into the burning home as smoke was pouring through the windows.

“We seen the lady and she was hollering for help,” says Stanfield. “So the other guy, Himy, he kicked the door in and we went in and saw one person laying on the couch. There was a lot of smoke in there.”

Stanfield says he was able to get that person to safety.

While that was happening, another neighbor says he saw the 18-year-old in the window of the second floor and was confused as to why he wasn’t jumping out. He quickly realized the boy was trying to save his 13-year-old brother.

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“Inside the window sill was his younger brother and he was trying to pull him out,” says Dave Erling. “At that point, the neighbor grabbed the ladder — kind of a team effort to pull it out. And the brother jumped on the ladder and pulled him out from the window, and everybody helped them slide down the rest of the rungs of the ladder.”

The fire started around 8:45 p.m., according to Alameda County’s Fire Battalion Chief John Whiting. It began in a living area on the first floor, gutting the room and damaging it heavily from smoke. The home is now uninhabitable.

Saturday, the boys’ father didn’t want to share the extent of his son’s injuries. Fortunately, no one else was hurt in the blaze.

“Good effort by the brother there. He wouldn’t let go of that windowsill for nothing,” says Erling. “He was up there the whole time, wouldn’t let go until he got his brother out.”

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According to the Battalion Chief, the family is staying with relatives for the time being. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.