Ignoring concerns for their own safety, a group of neighbours rescued a woman from a northeast home early this morning.

Another man living in the home died after fire broke out in the 3000 block of 56 Street NE around 1 a.m., according to fire officials.

Al Giga, who lives across the street from the blaze, was alerted to the fire by a neighbour on his way to work.


"We ran across the street to see if anyone was in the house," he said. "The (basement) windows were boarded so it was hard to see anything. We were banging on the boards and the windows and we did hear a faint voice."

The two worked quickly to kick the board in and then Giga leaned into the building.

"It was so dark, I couldn't see anything," he said. "It was all smokey and the fire was coming down the stairs, and I just saw a hand."

Giga grabbed the hand and pulled the woman out. She was struggling to breathe but managed to tell them another individual was still inside.

Giga and the neighbours quickly worked to bang on the other windows.

"I didn't know if the gas line was going to go off," he said.

Fire crews arrived and took control of the situation. The man was later found deceased inside.

Looking back at the night's events, Giga said he doesn't know what to make of the situation.

"It's a catch-22 because we couldn't get the other guy," he said.
A cause for the blaze has yet to be determined.

More to come . . .

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