Anival Angulo was walking past an apartment building in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Friday afternoon when he noticed smoke billowing out of it.
Then he heard what sounded like the wails of young children, according to the Las Vegas Fire & Rescue. So he jumped over a locked gate and found a 3-year-old girl standing behind a locked security door, unable to escape the fire behind her.
He knew he had to act, and fast.
Angulo, who is currently homeless, tried to open the door, but it wouldn’t budge at first. It was deadbolted, but Angulo kept trying to pull on the door until that lock released and the door swung open.
“The little girl ran to him and wrapped her arms around his waist,” the fire department wrote.
That wasn’t the only child in the apartment, however, as Angulo saw the leg of a 10-month-old baby laying on the floor of the residence.
He quickly brought both of the children outside to safety, according to the fire department, which hailed him as a “TRUE HERO.”
The pair of children, who were being watched by their grandfather in a back room, were rushed to a local hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.
The grandfather couldn’t get to the children because of the fire, a fire official told 3News.
Once at the hospital, the children told fire investigators that the fire started from cooking grease in a pan, but that it quickly grew and filled the apartment with smoke.
Aside from being treated for smoke inhalation, there were no other injuries from anyone inside the apartment, the fire department tweeted.
“Without the quick action of Angulo, the children would have probably suffered severe smoke inhalation with burns,” said Tim Szymanski, a spokesman for the fire department, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “His action certainly saved the children’s life.”
Now, some say that Angulo should have his good deed repaid.
“I would hope this man is no longer homeless,” Warren Mendel wrote on the fire department’s Facebook page. “Someone needs to reward this hero.”
But Angulo said he was just doing the right thing.
“I knew I had to get them out,” he told 3News.