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House fire heroes take action in Arizona

Posted at 12:08 AM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-05 03:08:20-04

PEORIA, Ariz. (ABC15) — Several people came to the rescue after a house caught fire in Peoria, Arizona, on Tuesday.

"Hello, hello. Your house is on fire; get outside,” says Andrea Marquez, who was driving by.

Marquez jumped out of her vehicle after seeing a cloud of smoke coming from a home near 99th and Olive avenues. She was on her way to drop her boys off at school.

“Then a gentleman came running out of the side gate there, which he is the owner of the house, the dad. He was just yelling frantically like, ‘my child is in there, my daughter is in there,’” says Marquez.

Marquez says the man had been burned. She quickly took action, knowing every second counts.

“He was just yelling like, ‘come outside come outside.’ So then, I immediately just ran right up into the walkway right here. When you walk in, she was just to the right sleeping and I scooped her up and we came out,” says Marquez.

The little girl woke up to a stranger, who was at the right place at the right time. The neighbor across the street heard the commotion and also came to the rescue.

“So, I open the door and just smoke billowing out of the house. My first thought was, are they still in there? So, I just took off running across the street,” says Echo O’Brien, neighbor.

O’Brien says the father was taken to the county burn unit while she stayed with his daughter. Paramedics decided a short time later that the little girl needed to get checked out as well. O’Brien stayed by her side.

"She was really scared so, I went along with her in the ambulance to make sure that she wasn't alone... that somebody was there with her because as a mom I would want that,” says O’Brien.

The mother and son were not at home at the time of the fire but received help from many community members.

“I just thought of a family and what could have happened if someone wasn't here to help,” says O’Brien.

The family of four is now without a home. Their neighbor started a fundraiser to help.

This story originally appeared on 13 Action News' sister station KNXV in Phoenix, Arizona.