Man saves tenants from possibly 'disastrous situation' - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Man saves tenants from possibly 'disastrous situation'

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- A Rochester resident is being hailed a hero after breaking into an apartment to extinguish a possible fire.

Firefighters responded to an apartment building just before 6:30 a.m. Thursday in the 1300 block of 1st Street SW.

Crews found light smoke coming from a window of one of the units.

"Unfortunately food was left on the stove on the lower level apartment and the occupant had fallen asleep," said Assistant Fire Marshall Larry Mueller.

Resident Alex Rodriguez was returning home when he saw heavy smoke coming from the foundation. Once inside Rodriguez said the hallways were filled with smoke, so he pulled the alarm and started evacuating people from the apartments.

Rodriguez ended up kicking the door in to the apartment where the smoke was coming from.

"I was unaware that there was anyone in there," said Rodriguez. "I was about halfway into the room and I noticed a hand doing this." That's when Alex got the occupant out and extinguished a burning pot on the stove.

"What he did definitely assisted and prevented the resident with the food on the stove from bodily injury or possibly death and saved the rest of the residents from a disastrous situation," said Mueller.

The resident was treated for smoke inhalation on scene but was not taken to the hospital.

The damage is estimated at about $5,000.

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