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Young man says he is ‘no hero’ after saving disabled neighbor from fire

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Firefighters arrived at the scene within 15 minutes of the report and managed to contain it relatively quickly. Photo: Courtesy

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. 

Earlier: Fire rages through popular Xcaret restaurant after a lightning strike

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. 

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