Santa Maria, CA (CNN) – Three young boys are safe after bravely jumping out the window of an apartment on fire. Rescue crews on the scene credit the strong community for protecting the family from danger. “We heard somebody screaming get out get out. And then my grandma opened the door.”
As flames began to swallow the apartment right next door Mendoza’s grandmother and his two brothers were trying to escape. “Officer Mike Guerra was the first on scene and he started talking to residents who indicated a family was trapped in an upstairs apartment.” Before firefighters arrived officer Guerra found the family and told them they had no choice but to jump. “I was like that was going to be so crazy.”
Mendoza said he could feel the heat entering his grandma’s apartment and was the first to jump off the second story balcony. His brother Brian was the next to make the leap.
Santa Maria police officers caught both boys but had trouble convincing the oldest to jump. “Yeah he was so scared he wasn’t even doing this he was just holding on.”
“I was so scared. What if no one was there to rescue me? Then I would have been flat as a flapjack.” 9 year old Mendoza fell hitting his foot on the way down but was caught and taken to safety thanks to officers and his neighbors’ speedy response. “We didn’t have to search very far because people were looking out for the other residents in the building and again that’s one of the great things about Santa Maria. Everyone looks out for one another.”
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