LUBBOCK, Texas — David Amaya was leaving a friend’s house when he saw a nearby house on fire, and immediately had a gut feeling.
“We pulled up to the house. I saw there were vehicles there and I just had a feeling that somebody was inside,” said Amaya.
Even though Amaya didn’t live in the area or know the people inside, he jumped out of the car and into action.
“It was really smoked out when we opened that door, just a whole cloud of black smoke coming out,” said Amaya.
And it was Amaya’s gut feeling that likely saved an elderly woman’s life.
“Another bystander was there with us and I told him to kick the door, bust the glass in. We busted the door down, she was laying probably about 3 feet, 4 feet away like she was already trying to get out,” said Amaya. “I just went inside, picked her up and pulled her out.”
The fire happened Tuesday afternoon near the 4200 block of Orlando Avenue. Firefighters arrived on scene just minutes after Amaya and others pulled the woman to safety. LFR has not released the identity of the woman inside the home.
“People want to help people and I think that’s great if there is a chance to save someone without walking through a wall of flames,” said Cpt. Phillip Grandon with Lubbock Fire and Rescue. “I mean absolutely, that’s a great thing someone can do.”
Though the cause is unknown, it’s believed the fire started by an electrical issue or possibly caused by smoking in bed.
And while the fire department said safety is always first, with the amount of fire and smoke that was in the house, getting anyone out as soon as possible was imperative.
“I don’t recommend anybody run into a burning building, but if you – at that moment – think that you can get it done and do it you can save somebody’s life,” said Grandon.
While Amaya said he doesn’t make a habit of running into burning buildings, it’s just in his nature to want to help.
“If you got that gut feeling just go for it cause it’s probably a good gut feeling to go out there and try and help somebody,” said Amaya.
Amaya was treated Tuesday at UMC for smoke inhalation. The woman was transported by EMS Tuesday to UMC as well, where she is currently being treated for severe smoke inhalation and 3rd degree burns.