At just 18, Heider Alexander Cruz Reyes is being hailed as a hero by his community after saving a disabled neighbor from a fire in his home.
The young man apparently could smell the smoke from his home and ran out to provide assistance, according to a police report.
“People are saying that I am a hero, but that’s just not the case. I did what anyone would have done in that situation,” said Cruz Reyes.
The fire took place Thursday in the Emiliano Zapata Sur III neighborhood and spread quickly throughout the home, as it was made in part of flammable materials.
The incident was apparently caused by an unattended pot on the kitchen stove, according to the firefighters’ report.
Neighbors alerted the authorities who promptly dispatched the fire brigade to fight the fire and the Red Cross to treat the affected persons for smoke inhalation.
“When I saw what was happening, tons of images began to run through my head, but I knew the time for action was right then and there,” said Cruz Reyes.
Cruz Reyes did not suffer any serious injury but his rescued neighbor was shaken up although expected to make a full recovery.
Though most homes in Mérida are made of brick, some in the city’s poorer neighborhoods contain large sections made up of metallic sheets and a type of thick cardboard, which is extremely flammable.