A neighbor's heroic actions saved the lives of a mother and her two children during an apartment fire Friday afternoon.
Firefighters responded around 1 p.m. to the fire at Victoria Village Apartments on Van Buren Drive. Witnesses who called 911 reported that the two-story building was on fire. Smoke from the fire could be seen from Moss Street. Six fire units with 20 firefighters responded within five minutes.
The second floor of the eight-unit apartment building was fully involved, spokesperson for the Lafayette Fire Department Alton Trahan said. Flames were coming from two apartments and a large breezeway. Emergency crews were able to control the wind-driven fire within 15 minutes.
One man's heroic actions saved three lives Friday afternoon, officials said. A woman and her two children, who lived across the breezeway from the apartment where the fire started, were able to escape through an upstairs window. The woman opened her door after smelling smoke and was faced with intense flames and heat. She immediately ran to the bedroom to get her two kids, a 5-year-old and an infant.
A neighbor, Quinntrell Feist, was outside and heard the woman screaming out the window, Trahan explained. Feist told the woman to drop her kids to him. He caught both kids and then their mother from the upstairs window.
"Mr. Feist's heroic act is commendable," said Trahan. "Had he not been there, the outcome may have been quite different."
The occupant of the apartment where the fire originated wasn't home at the time, and her apartment sustained the worst damage. The fire damaged three apartments, while three others sustained only smoke damage. Six tenants and their families were displaced due to the fire, and the American Red Cross responded to the scene to assist the victims.
Fire officials determined the fire originated in the living room, but the investigation into the cause of the fire is still ongoing.
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