It was an ordinary Friday night for six college students at Rutgers University-Camden. After spending the evening playing video games and socializing, two of the students got ready to head home around midnight.
As they were leaving the house, however, they saw that a duplex down the street had caught fire – and no one was running out of the building.
The two students, Tammy Meneses and Vanessa Solis-Palma, alerted their other friends to the situation before they all ran down the block and started banging on doors, rattling the fences, and yelling that there was a fire.
Solis-Palma dialed 911 while her friend Corey Zytko alerted a nearby campus security officer.
23-year-old Matteo Resanovic took a more hands-on approach my punching through the glass in the building’s front door so he unlock it and charge inside. Resanovic and Solis-Palma then found a 90-year-old man who had been sleeping in his bedroom on the second floor.
The two students guided him downstairs and onto the sidewalk. While firefighters arrived and managed to control the fire in under 30 minutes, the students immediately left the scene.
School officials started a search for the “good Samaritans” who “considered the community and other people and their safety over themselves.”
The students were hesitant about coming forward to take credit for their heroism. After their names were made public, Zytko simply told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the rescue was “Fire 101. You’re taught as a kid get everyone out of the building, knock on all the doors. I was just going with it.”
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