It was almost lunchtime on December 1. A Las Vegas grandfather was babysitting his two young grandchildren, when suddenly the pan on the stove caught fire. The fire spread so quickly that the grandfather couldn’t get to the 3-year-old and 10-month-old in the other room, who started screaming for help.
“The children were in the living room. Food was cooking on the stove. The grandfather was watching the children. He was in a back bedroom. The kids say the stove caught on fire, it got bigger and they started yelling,” Tim Szymanski, a member of the Las Vegas Fire Rescue, told KSNV News 3 Las Vegas.
“The granddad couldn’t get to them because of the fire.”
The children couldn’t get out of the apartment because the security bar door was bolted shut.
The situation appeared hopeless, when suddenly the children found themselves being rescued by an unexpected savior.
Anival Angulo is a homeless man living on the streets of Las Vegas. He happened to be passing by the house when he noticed the smoke. Upon hearing the kids’ cries for help, and realizing that they were still inside, Angulo instantly knew he had to do something.
Quickly, he sprung into action to try and save them.
“[I] went to the door and saw the babies so I jumped the fence and I pulled on the screen door and I wrapped up the babies and pulled them out,” Angulo told KSNV News.
“I knew I had to get them out.”
Using all his strength, Angulo managed to bend the locked security door until the lock slid open and the girl could get out. She ran to him and put her arms around his waist. Then he saw the baby’s leg through the smoke and reached in to pull the child to safety. Meanwhile the grandfather managed to escape out of a back window.
While the children did sustain some minor injuries from smoke inhalation, they were taken to the hospital and were expected to be just fine. The house, on the other hand, sustained $50,000 in damage, but the Red Cross is working to help the family out.
According to the fire department, without Angluo’s quick action, the story very likely would have had a tragic ending
“Without the quick action of Angulo, the children would have probably suffered severe smoke inhalation with burns,” the fire department said in a statement.
“His action certainly saved the children’s life.”
Since word of Angulo’s actions have spread, many people have labeled him as a lifesaver. Even the local fire department branded him a hero.
ONLY ON @News3LV: This homeless man ran into a burning apartment to save two small children. Although @LasVegasFD arrived on scene quickly, this man is the true hero! Hear my interview with him at 3,5 and 6. pic.twitter.com/NYrgTMtFQq
— Kelsey Thomas (@KelseyNews3LV) December 1, 2017
For Angulo, however, he said that his actions weren’t intended to be for the praise and appreciation, but rather he acted that way because he knew that it was the right thing to do.
If the need ever arose, he’d do it all over again. He hopes other people will learn from his example, and rise to the occasion should the need ever present itself.