Flames were already shooting the roof of a Long Island home by the time firefighters arrived at the scene, but fortunately no one was hurt — thanks in no small part to the heroic actions of a 16-year-old girl.
When flames engulfed the home Brentwood home on St. Peter's Drive, a 69-year-old woman who lives in the basement was too afraid to make a run for it. Others who live in the home, including a mother and her 4-year-old son, were able to escape outside. But that's when teenager Star Grant noticed that her neighbor Catarina was not there.
So Grant ran inside, as flames raged around her.
"I ran inside, I couldn't leave her in there," Grant said. "I literally grabbed her and said, 'Let's go!'"
Grant and the woman escaped unharmed, with the latter with only the clothes on her back. The inferno was shooting through the roof of the building when Brentwood firefighters arrived, and it took dozens of them to finally douse the flames.
Assistant Fire Chief Andrew Renison said there was a heavy fire on the second floor, where the roof collapsed and propane tanks were left in the back of the house. The tanks did catch fire, but instead of exploding, an internal safety valve in the tanks released gas gradually.
Renison said it was "very lucky" the Brentwood High School junior and her neighbor were able to get out safely.
Grant's family was proud of her for risking her life to help out a neighbor facing near-certain death.
"I think she's a hero for doing that. With no hesitation, she went inside to save this woman," said Howard Roessler, Grant's uncle.