San Jose firefighters credit 'good Samaritans' for saving lives in apartment fire

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- San Jose firefighters are crediting "good Samaritans" for saving lives at a fire that destroyed several apartments overnight. Sixteen residents have been displaced after the 3-alarm fire erupted at an apartment complex on Rancho Drive in San Jose.

The first call came in at 12:29 a.m. at the eight-unit apartment building. The fire was declared knocked down at 1:35 a.m.

Victims say they had very little time to get out of their home. "Flames out my windows. I just grabbed my kid and ran out," said fire victim Kenny Nguyen.

Firefighters and neighbors say "good Samaritans" helped get everyone out by knocking on windows and doors. "He started knocking on people's windows, and got the fire extinguisher to try to calm the flames down. And then before the firefighters came he made sure that everyone was out," said Juan Carapia, talking about his uncle.

San Jose Fire Captain Mike Van Elgort said, "The banging on doors, getting people out, that saved lives."

About 85 firefighters and command staff were at the scene.

There are no reports of injuries.
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