LORAIN, Ohio – Several good Samaritans risked their own lives to save an elderly woman who was trapped inside a Lorain duplex.
Joshua Ellis and Ben Hogan happened to be driving down Elyria Avnue Monday morning around 11:50 am when they noticed the upper level of a split home was engulfed in flames.
Witnesses say a woman, later identified as 77-year-old Ramona Otero, was hanging out of a front window calling for help.
A man named Felix Ortiz was trying to reach her but unable to reach the roof.
Immediately, Joshua and Ben called 911, stopped their car and ran over to help even as the fast moving flames began consuming the home.
The men formed a human ladder, climbing up to the second level by way of a shaky overhang, and then broke a window to pull Otero out.
“It was intense,” said Elli., “I wasn’t thinking of nothing but getting her off the roof.”
Lorain firefighters quickly responded within a couple of minutes of the original call and assisted the men as they lowered Otero to the ground.
Assistant Fire Chief Roy Cochran says they could’ve all been seriously hurt or worse.
“You certainly wouldn’t recommend everyone do this,” said Chief Cochran. “Very easily it could’ve flashed and they and the woman could’ve been enveloped in giant ball of flames. But thankfully none of that occurred and I’m thankful they were there to give her a hand.”
Otero was also very thankful, but Joshua and Ben say they actually feel grateful that they happened to be in the right place at the right time.
“When it’s done and over with and reality sets in, it’s extremely humbling,” said Hogan. “Makes you extremely grateful, I’m grateful I was able help.”