By Sarah Heise
FAIRFIELD, Calif. (KCRA) —A 14-year-old boy smelled smoke while inside a Fairfield apartment and immediately jumped into action — saving an elderly man and a dog from the fire, officials said Monday.
Just before 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Latrell McCockran was at his friend’s apartment at 1990 Grande Circle when the four-alarm apartment blaze broke out, according to the Fairfield Fire Department.
A smoky smell hit Latrell first, so he grabbed one of the fire extinguishers.
The teen then spotted an elderly, disabled man struggling to get out of a smoke-filled apartment unit. So Latrell went inside and helped the man escape.
“I ran from up here (on the second floor),” he told KCRA 3 on Monday, recalling the weekend blaze. “I kicked that fire extinguisher in. I saw the old guy stumbling, so I picked him up and took him down there, to where the other guys were. I gave him water and a chair.”
The man told Latrell that his dog remained in the unit, and there might be children trapped inside the building, as well. So Latrell went back in with his father.
“I went back where the dog was – back into the room where the furniture was,” Latrell said. “I opened the door and the dog came out.”
The 14-year-old then went back a third time to make sure absolutely everyone had escaped.
“I tied my shirt around my mouth and got on the floor, because you couldn’t see nothing at the top,” Latrell said. “So, I got down on the ground and called out about five or six times — nobody answered.”
When asked whether he ever felt scared, Latrell said fear is just a state of mind.
“It’s not right to sit there and watch someone die,” he said. “That would sit on me for the rest of my life and I can’t do that.”
Latrell suffered minor injuries and smoke inhalation — and was taken to a hospital by his mother, fire officials said.
Latrell’s brother also helped get people out of the building. No one else was found to be inside the complex.
KCRA 3′s Claire Doan contributed to this report.
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