Man rescues elderly neighbor from North Lauderdale apartment fire

NORTH LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A young man is being hailed a hero after he ran toward a fire in his North Lauderdale apartment building to rescue a neighbor, Monday morning.

When Fitzgerald Bartley smelled smoke in his Oakbrook Village apartment building, located along the 8100 block of Southwest 24th Street, he immediately went down the hall to check on his elderly neighbor.

In her apartment, he saw flames in her kitchen.

“First instinct is just get her out,” Bartley said.

Bartley put his neighbor, 88, in a chair and carried her down two flights of stairs.

North Lauderdale Fire Battalion Chief Juan Linares said Bartley may have saved his neighbor’s life. “His quick thinking — he checked on her and put her in a chair and walked out with her — basically saved her life,” he said.

Lester Weiner, who lives in the building, said Bartley’s actions are awe-inspiring. “Very impressed. He’s certainly a hero,” she said.

Bartley said he also tried to battle the flames with a fire extinguisher.

“Just being a neighbor, you know,” he said.

The elderly neighbor is now being treated for smoke inhalation at a nearby hospital.

Fire officials were able to contain the fire to the kitchen.

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