Man runs into burning building to save neighbor

Posted: Updated:
CYPRESS HILLS -

A man ran into a burning building in Cypress Hills to save his neighbor.

On Thursday night, firefighters rushed to 168 Ashford St., where they found "flames coming up all around the walls."

Pablo Espinaza lives next door to where the fire started. He says that when he realized what was happening, he ran into the building and heard a woman screaming for help.

"I tried to go through the attic, but the smoke was so intense, so I had to run out to catch air," he recalls. "I went up three times...but I said, 'I can't let this person die.'"

He eventually got to the woman, Cynthia, and pulled her out. She was rushed to Brookdale Hospital and treated for smoke inhalation. The two were strangers before the fire.

Five other families were displaced by the fire. The Red Cross is working to help them.

The fire marshal's office is working to determine the cause.

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