Neighbor saves boy in near-drowning in apartment pool early Friday morning

PHOENIX - A neighbor is credited with saving the life of a 3-year-old who nearly drowned in an apartment complex pool near 19th Avenue and Glendale early Friday morning.

According to reports, the child was heard splashing in the water around 3 a.m.

Edward Vara reportedly investigated the noise and jumped in to save the child when he realized what was happening.

Vara said he was outside his apartment looking at his phone.

“I heard a splash, I heard like someone dove into the pool, I thought it was awkward, I thought to myself, 'it's kind of late for someone to jump into the pool,’” he said.

He almost went back to what he was doing-- but something didn't feel right.

“When I looked over, I just seen him in the middle of the pool on his back, on the top of the water,” Vara said.

He couldn't believe it.

“I was trying to tell myself, it wasn't what I was seeing-- but I knew it was. I knew a little boy was drowning,” he said.

With that, he sprang into action.

“I was getting ready to jump the fence, but the pool gate just went open. So I just ran in,” Vara said.

“I just jumped in, grabbed him, brought him up.. his body was hard, like he had swallowed a lot of water.”

He tried to do CPR.  

“I was just screaming at the top of my lungs for anyone to come out and help me,” he said.

A neighbor came out and helped and they called 911. The three-year-old boy started breathing again.

“I really don't feel like I did anything special. I did what anyone would've done I think,” he said.

If he hadn't heard that splash, Vara knows it could've ended a lot differently.

“I just keep kind of replaying in my head, 'wow, there was nobody out there.' There was nobody there.”

The toddler's parents don't know how he got out of their apartment. Neighbors said the boy is doing fine.

Vara said the pool gate is usually locked.

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