Young hero rescues five from burning apartment


January 22, 2013 6:24:26 PM PST
Several people in Sonoma County are alive because of a very brave and quick-thinking young man who heroically saved children and his neighbors on Monday morning. Firefighters were able to get to the scene of an apartment fire at 8020 Beverly Drive in east Rohnert Park in just minutes, but they say the quick work of a next-door neighbor helped save the lives of two young children and three adults.

As the fire was raging, Trevor Kasimoff ran out his back door and saw people on the second floor in trouble. "There was a lady, they were screaming for help," he recalled. From her apartment window, the woman began tossing her two children to him on the ground. "She drops. It was a boy first and then a girl, maybe two years apart, and then as soon as I look up, she's already climbing out the window to jump herself," he explained.

As the mother and two children he helped got to safety, there were other people who were still stuck in another second floor apartment. "They were screaming at me for help and they said, 'Put up the ladder, put up the ladder,' and I'm looking around and right behind me on the ground is a 20-foot ladder," Kasimoff said.

The ladder had been left there by maintenance workers and was still propped up against the apartment building Tuesday. It's what two adults used to climb to their safety. The fire ravaged the entire building and destroyed several cars. Fire investigators are trying to piece together exactly how the fire started, but one thing is very clear. They say Trevor's quick action saved lives.

One of Kasimoff 's longtime neighbors is a fire captain who responded to the blaze. "Given the amount of damage, the amount of fire, he, he made a difference," Rancho Adobe Fire Department Capt. Lawrence Martinez said. For Kasimoff, the gravity of his quick action didn't really hit him until hours later when he talked to one of the women he helped save.

"She's like, 'Oh, the one who saved me. You're my hero.' Like I said, I'm still not used to it. I don't feel like what I did was heroic because I did what had to be done at the time," Kasimoff told ABC7 News.

The woman who tossed her two children out to Kasimoff then jumped out herself said she injured her ankle. Kasimoff says when she jumped, he didn't so much as catch her, instead, she landed on him and he broke her fall.