A four-alarm fire broke out in a San Francisco apartment building located in the Mission District on Wednesday and forced a 13-year-old boy to take drastic measures to save his own life, as well as his dog’s. When the fire broke out, it wasn’t the fire alarms that alerted young Alessandro Gonzales, it was the screams of his neighbors that let him know something was wrong.
As Yahoo! News reported, when he heard the screams, he went to the front door of his apartment to try to escape the building, but when he opened the door, all he could see was black smoke.
“I opened the door, and smoke came through inside the house, and I couldn’t see nothing. It was dark, dark.”
Realizing he couldn’t get out that way, quick thinking on Alessandro’s part helped save his life and the life of his dog. He quickly grabbed his dog, then smashed a window to get to the fire escape. He made it down a ladder carrying his dog, but when he got to the second floor, he was forced to jump the rest of the way.
The police had responded to the fire and tried to use a ladder to reach Alessandro, but ended up telling him to jump. The police officers told him to throw his dog down to them first and, after the dog was caught, they then told him to jump to them.
“They were like ‘throw your dog.’ At those times you don’t think you just do. They caught me. I was hanging too.”
As KPIX Channel 5 news reported, the fire left 54 people homeless, including Alessandro and his mom. One man was killed and four others were injured by the fire. Unfortunately, another pet of the Gonzales family, a rabbit, was also a victim of the blaze.
In a similar story reported by the Inquisitr, a Georgia man was a hero as he broke into a burning home to save his neighbor’s children from a fire.
Fire officials in San Francisco said the building’s fire alarms did not go off, and the fire escape ladders did not operate properly. At this time, the cause of the blaze is unknown, but arson doesn’t seem to be involved in the fire. The fire is still being investigated by officials.
Alessandro and his mother are staying at a hotel sponsored by the American Red Cross, but they don’t know where they will go next. Neighbors in the Mission District have started a GoFundMe campaign to help those displaced by the fire and has already raised two-thirds of the $60,000 goal.
[Video via Yahoo]