Teen Trapped in 3rd Story Stairwell Escaping Fire, Neighbor Runs Back in after Him


Any type of fire is a reason to panic, from house fires to vehicle fires. When you become trapped in one of these situations, the only thing on your mind is to get out alive.

Sadly, apartment buildings, in particular, are hard to escape. This is mainly because of the disadvantages of multi-story building structures.

These types of fires sometimes trap victims on high-level floors, leaving them with nowhere to go. Take, for instance, what happened to 13-year-old Luis Gonzalez on Friday, Jan. 12.

A fire suddenly broke out in his apartment building located in Larchmont, New York. While he, his mom, and two other siblings tried to escape the inferno, Luis ended up in great danger.

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Using a translator, his mom named Nelida Dugarte said she tried to safely evacuate her kids but somehow lost sight of Luis in the smoke.

While she and her other children made it out, the teen was still trapped on the third story stairwell.

“I couldn’t breathe,” Luis said. “I thought for a moment I was going to faint.”

Fortunately, Luis didn’t pass out. However, the smoke was so suffocating that he collapsed on the floor.

In a panic, Dugarte turned to her neighbor, Nelson Segovia, to help her son. Risking his own life, the neighbor went inside and grabbed a fire extinguisher from his floor.

He found Gonzalez on the upper floor and quickly told him it was time to go. After making it outside, Segovia ran back inside one last time to knock on some of the residents’ doors.

His actions were astonishingly courageous, but they also came with a little experience.

Segovia said, “I used to be a firefighter volunteer so that was my first reaction, to go up with a fire extinguisher and see what I can do.”

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After the smoke settled, the building was determined to be in desperate need of repairs. Residents have had to live elsewhere while the building is fixed up.

While Luis was miraculously saved, and no lives were lost in this harrowing incident, either people were injured. They were given medical attention and it looks like they will be fine.

On that Monday, the brave man reunited with the family who unfortunately lost most of their possessions.

Thanks to his heroism, Dugarte was just grateful for having the one thing that mattered most, and that was her children.

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