Tempe woman saved from burning home by off-duty Tucson firefighter

Posted at 5:30 PM, Apr 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-12 00:30:19-04

Taking action in a town he is visiting, an off-duty firefighter visiting Tempe jumped into action when he saw a home on fire.

Sabaz Cruz Miranda who is a firefighter in the Picture Rocks community just outside of Tucson was driving to the grocery with a friend when he saw smoke and flames, in the area of Cottonwood Drive and McArthur Road in Tempe.

"I just saw the smoke and was like that doesn't look like a campfire or a chimney fire. We pulled up, and that's when I saw the flames, I thought I heard a voice, a faint voice," Cruz Miranda said.

He added that's when his training kicked into action. While a neighbor called 9-1-1, Cruz Miranda said he rushed over to find a way to get inside the house.

Cruz Miranda's friend Nathan Fuell who was with him at the time said they tried to use their feet and shoulders to force open the front door.

"We were all afraid. We were knocking on the doors and windows. He said he thought he heard an old lady saying I'm stuck, so we both started shouldering the door," Fuell said.

Cruz Miranda said one of the front windows was open, so he crawled into the home, stayed low to the ground and tried to find the woman.

"It was pretty smoky already inside the house. I couldn't even see my hand in front of my face. I could barely make her out. She was in the living room, but she couldn't walk towards me," Cruz Miranda said.

He was able to put his arm around her, and tried to open the front door from the inside, but was unable to do so.

As he walked back to the window, he told the woman to be prepared to climb out of the home.

That's when neighbors rushed over to help and Fuell, along with others, was able to kick the door of the house down.

"When she came out her eyes were bloodshot. She was drooling; you could tell she was having a hard time breathing," Fuell said.

Firefighters evaluated both the victim and Cruz Miranda, who said he felt faint after the rescue.

Friends and neighbors commended him for his quick actions, calling him a hero.

"Honestly, as corny as it sounds my training kind of kicked in. It definitely just drives my passion to this career, even more, it definitely felt good to do that," Cruz Miranda said.

ABC15 Arizona has reached out to the American Red Cross to see if the family needs any help, and are still waiting to hear back. 

We have also put in several messages to the Tempe Fire Department, but our calls and emails have not been returned as of yet.