Woman and Boy Become Heroes Saving Neighbors From Burning House

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Robert House was riding the bus, on his way home from downtown, when he saw the house he's lived in on East 15th St. for a decade, on fire.

"And got to the overpass and seen it and i just started crying," said House. "This is the second time we've lost everything."

The last house Robert lived in was destroyed by flames. A little girl who was also living in that house at the time (Czu Toffoi) perished in that fire, in April of 2009.

"'It`s been hard to forget," said House. "Now, it brings everything back like it happened yesterday."

Fortunately, no one died in Wednesday's house fire, thanks to the heroic actions of a couple of people who were nearby.

Melissa Farrell and her nephew, 10 year-old Jesse Kaufman, were at a house just around the corner when they noticed their neighbor's house was on fire. The two had been preparing to go fishing, but once they noticed the nearby house on fire, they sprang into action.

Nancy May was inside the house, taking a nap, when she was alerted to the fire by Farrell and Kaufman, who came banging on the door and yelling. May was able to get out, but another man who lives at the house was still inside.

"And, we go around to the side and they keep pointing towards the window and saying someone else is in there," said Farrell.

Farrell busted the window with her own hands to get the man's attention and tell him to get out, and has the cuts to show for it. But, busting the window wouldn't be enough to save the day.

"And he still wasn`t communicating with me, like he wasn't understanding what I was saying to him," said Farrell. "I don`t know, but I went back in and got him out."


The Fire Department says the cause of the fire is under investigation.


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