A girl helped her younger brothers escape a dramatic fire that appeared to destroy a home in South Los Angeles early Friday morning, a witness said.
After being called to the 1400 block of West 49th Street just before 4 a.m., firefighters found a two-story single-family home well involved, an alert from the Los Angeles Fire Department stated.
Video from the scene showed a dramatic nighttime scene, with the Vermont Square home was consumed by flames. Three dozen firefighters worked for nearly half an hour to knock the fire down.
A witness said a mother, father and three children were able to escape, along with other occupants of the home.
“My wife came screaming … she realized there was a fire,” said the neighbor, who gave his name only as Raymond.
He saw flames going up the side of the house and raced to use a garden hose on the fire.
“All of a sudden I heard a voice, went to the window, and there was a little kid partially through the window,” Raymond said.
He helped the boy out and then two more children appeared — another young boy and a grade-school-aged girl. Praised by a freelance news photographer as a “hero,” Raymond said the girl was the true hero.
“The little girl — she helped to get her little brothers out,” Raymond said.
Raymond took the three children to his home and returned to spray water on the fire, he said.
He saw an adult got out of another window. The children’s mother got out separately, Raymond said.
The Fire Department said nine people were displaced, but authorities did not have their ages or genders. The Red Cross was helping the residents.
A homeless man -- who told KTLA the home's owner allows him to sleep on the front porch -- said he also helped get residents out.
"I don't consider myself being a hero; I was just there at the right time," Isaiah Smith said.
The home appeared to be left a charred shell — a total loss. No one was injured.