A homeless man in Las Vegas risked his life when he ran into a burning building to save two young children trapped by the flames, officials said.
When Anival Angulo, 36, saw smoke coming from an East Valley home on East Mesquite Avenue, he decided to go around the building to find the source at about 11:30 a.m. Friday, Las Vegas Fire & Rescue said.
That’s when Angulo, who is currently homeless, heard children crying.
“I knew I had to get them out,” Angulo told KSNV-TV.
Angulo jumped a locked gate to get into the complex and rushed to a security door, from which he could see a little girl trapped in a smoke-filled apartment, authorities said.
The child was unable to get the steel door open, so Angulo began pulling on it until it bent upward and the deadbolt lock unlatched.
Once inside, Angulo grabbed the 3-year-old girl and a 10-month-old boy and rushed them to safety.
“I wrapped up the babies and pulled them out," Angulo told the television station.
Las Vegas Fire and Rescue received multiple 911 calls at 11:33 a.m. that an apartment was on fire and small children were trapped inside.
Emergency responders rushed to the scene and had the fire under control by 11:48 a.m.
The fire gutted the apartment’s kitchen and living room, while the rest of the home suffered heavy heat and smoke damage. An apartment next door suffered minor smoke damage.
Officials said the damage to the building was estimated at $50,000.
Three adults and one child were displaced by the fire and are being assisted by the American Red Cross.
Authorities said the fire has been deemed an accident and started with a pan and cooking grease on the stove and quickly spread across the kitchen.
The little girl told fire investigators the fire grew quickly and caused a lot of smoke, which made her scared, officials said.
The children were being minded by their grandfather, who was in the back bedroom when the fire started, authorities said.
They were taken to University Medical Center to be checked for minor smoke inhalation.
There were no other reported injuries.
“Without the quick action of Angulo, the children would have probably suffered severe smoke inhalation with burns,” Las Vegas and Fire said. “His action certainly saved the children’s life.”