Bystander rescues man from California house fire (caught on tape)

UPDATE: KGO is reporting that the nameless mystery man is Tom Artiaga. He saw the flames as he was driving. After helping the man to safety, he left before anyone could thank or commend him for his selfless act.

“It is a big deal but you got to help out people. It’s what God put us here for,” said Artiaga.

FRESNO, CA (CNN/AP) — A man ran into a burning home in Fresno and came out carrying a man who lives inside over his shoulder as flames popped and exploded behind him.

Beth Lederach of Clovis tells the Fresno Bee that she was driving by when she saw the duplex in flames Saturday. She pulled over, called 911 and began shooting video with her phone.

A woman standing on the sidewalk holding a baby was shouting that her father, who had been hooked up to an oxygen tank, was still inside.

“I was pretty shaken up about it,” Lederach told the Fresno Bee ( “As I got out of the car, this woman came up with this baby and said, ‘My dad is in there! My dad is in there!’ I didn’t know what to do. I felt so helpless.”

The flames then surged and several people who had been trying to help ran down the driveway.

They were followed by a stocky man with a mustache in jeans a Los Angeles Dodgers cap who had the woman’s father over his shoulder. Neither Lederach nor Fresno fire officials knew the identity of the rescuer.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Lederach said. “I was so relieved, I just wanted to cry.”

Firefighters then arrived and had the blaze out about 20 minutes later, fire Capt. Kris Townsend told the Bee.

The man who was rescued, whose name was not released, was treated at a hospital, Townsend said.

The fire apparently started in a garage and was well-involved by the time firefighters arrived, he said.

The blaze did an estimated $100,000 in damage.


Information from: The Fresno Bee,

A dramatic rescue of a man from a burning east-central home was captured Saturday on video, at 1:32 minutes. Video provided by Beth Lederach of Clovis. THEFRESNOBEE

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