Neighbors save woman from apartment fire

Neighbors found the woman laying on the floor of her apartment

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A 61 year-old woman was rescued by her neighbors after her apartment caught fire this afternoon, and 22News spoke with the men who saved her.

Two West Springfield residents became heroes on Sunday night. Deputy Chief Bob Manchino of the West Springfield Fire Department told 22News a 61 year-old woman was trapped in her Bradford Drive apartment when thick, black smoke started coming out from her windows and front door. Luiz Vazquez, who was visiting his mother, went across the parking lot to see what was wrong.

Luiz told 22News, “I was calling to see if I had heard somebody in the apartment, and I heard her faintly saying, ‘yes’ responding to my questions. So I would ask ‘Is somebody there?’ and she said, ‘Yes, I’m back here. I said, ‘Can you make it to the door?’, and she said ‘No I can’t, I can’t make it to the door.'”

Luiz decided to kick down the door. The kitchen stove had been left on.

But Luiz wasn’t the only neighbor to act quickly. Albert Perron, who lives just 2 doors down, rushed over to see what he could do.

“It was all dark and smoky,” says Perron. “It was like being in the darkest night full of fog, you couldn’t see nothing in all different ways. So I get in there and shout ‘Where are you? Where are you?’, and she says ‘Over here! Over here!’ It was hard to make it out.”

Albert found her on the floor under the smoke. He and Luiz carried the woman out in a blanket until police and fire fighters arrived.

“Even if she has a day or 2 extra, it just feels good,” says Luiz. “It feels good to help other people.”

The woman who was saved is not being identified right now, but she is recovering at Baystate Medical Center.

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