Man saves 5 from burning building

    9:47 AM, Jan 23, 2013   |    comments
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    SONOMA COUNTY, CA (CNN/KGO) -- A young man is credited with saving the lives of at least five people, including two young children, from an apartment fire in Northern California.

    As the fire was raging, Trevor Kasimoff ran out his back door and saw people on the second floor in trouble. He says, "There was a lady, they were screaming for help."

    From her apartment window, the woman began tossing her two young children to him on the ground. Kasimoff says, "She drops, it was a boy first and then a girl, maybe two years apart, and then as soon as I look up, she's already climbing out the window to jump herself."

    Cell phone video was shot by a neighbor that shows how intense the fire was burning. As the mother and two children he helped got to safety, there were other people who were still stuck in another second-floor apartment. Kasimoff says, "They were screaming at me for help and they said put up the ladder, put up the ladder, and I'm looking around me and right behind me on the ground is a 20 foot ladder."

    The ladder had been left there by maintenance workers, it's still propped up against the apartment building was used by two adults to climb to their safety. The fire ravaged the entire building and destroyed several cars.

    Right now fire investigators are still trying to piece together exactly how the fire started but one thing is clear they say Trevor's quick action saved lives.

    One of Trevor's longtime neighbors is a fire captain who responded to this blaze. Capt. Lawrence Martinez says, "Given the amount of damage, the amount of fire, he, he made a difference."

    For Trevor, the gravity of his quick action didn't really hit him 'til hours later when he talked to one of the women he helped save. Kasimoff says, "Yeah basically, she's like, oh the one who saved me, you're my hero, I'm still used to it, I don't feel like what I did was heroic, because I did what had to be done at the time."

    One woman had a broken ankle and one child was treated for smoke inhalation at a hospital. About 15 people are now homeless from the fire, which also destroyed seven cars.

    The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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