Firefighters recall team effort to rescue residents from burning apartment

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Firefighters had to rescue five people from a burning building earlier this month.

Thanks to their training, only material things were lost in the fire.

"All of a sudden he heard like a fire alarm going off, like the beeping sound from the fire alarm, and I thought it might be some kind of fire on the stove or something like that," fire victim Rudy Anciso said.

The apartment building he lived in was on fire, and the fire department was on the way.

"When we got there we could see smoke and flames on approach. We got more details. There were people possibly trapped in there. We were getting numbers. One, two, three, four, etcetera," Phil Lopez with the Omaha Fire Department said.

The firefighters prepared themselves for the rescue.

"It brings it kinda to another level. Your response, your adrenaline flows a little bit more, you know. You gotta kind of switch gears," Robert Fox with OFD said.

The group of firefighters made their way to the back of the apartment building, where Anciso was trapped inside.

"I didn't know where all the fire was going to come up. I opened my door and there was smoke everywhere. I went to the back and the fire guy yelled help," he recalled.

The firefighters saw Anciso looking for assistance.

"When we arrived around back, one person was hanging out of a window with smoke coming out yelling for help," Kyle Staudt with OFD said.

"We went up the stairwell and assisted because it literally took three of us to pull him through the window," John Mixon with OFD added.

Anciso said he was followed out by his brother and 74-year-old father.

"We're rescuing one person and another guy comes out the window, so it ends up being three," Cpt. Jon McKenzie with OFD said.

The firefighters rescued the three people from the back of the apartment, as well as two from the front. They got the people to safety all while hooking up hoses and fighting the fire.

"The only way it's available for this, there's so many guys on scene. It takes a lot of people to do everything that you need to do," McKenzie said.

Fire official said after rescuing the five people from the apartment, they went inside to conduct a search and make sure everyone was out safely.

The owner of the burned building said all of the displaced tenants will move into other properties he owns.