Two residents rescue man from fire at Hamilton apartments

HAMILTON, Ohio – Fire officials called two men heroes after they rescued a neighbor from his burning apartment.

When the fire alarm went off in Dayton Lane Gardens Wednesday night, residents headed for the ground floor and safety.

"People are freaking out," Josh Santos said.

"I go down to the third floor,  it's engulfed in smoke," Gene Affrunti said.

Apartment 212 was on fire, and the man living there was unconscious.

Affrunti and Santos noticed smoke billowing out of his open door, and they rushed inside.

The mattress had caught fire and the flames had spread.

"I grabbed him by the arms and dragged him out into the hall," Affrunti said.

"Pulled him out," Santos said.

Paramedics treated the man for smoke exposure and transported him to Fort Hamilton Hospital.

Both of his rescuers also felt the effects.

"I got carbon monoxide in my lungs," Santos said. "I had to go to the hospital."

"I still have a headache," Affrunti said.

Fire officials said the men risked their lives.

Affrunti's daughter Liz wasn't surprised.

"He was always a hero to me. Always," she said. "I love you, Dad."

The two heroes were modest.

"No, I'm not a hero," Affrunti said. "I don't know anybody that wouldn't do the same."

"I don't know if I'm a hero or not,"  Santos said. "I know I was just doing the right thing."

The fire started about 10:45 p.m., fire officials said.

Other residents were able to return to their apartments about an hour later.

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