Two people take life-saving actions in Fargo apartment fire
Abel Gracia and Laura Hill knocked on doors and rang buzzers to alert residents of an early morning fire in Gracia's apartment building.
FARGO, N.D. — Lives were turned upside down in North Fargo early Sunday morning after an apartment fire displaced dozens of people from their homes.
They will have to replace the personal belongings that were lost inside, but thankfully, no lives were lost.
One of the reasons why is because of one of the building’s tenants.
“After I saw the flames, I knew that they had to wake them up,” said Abel Gracia who lives in the building.
Gracia was returning home with his friend, Laura Hill, when the two began to smell smoke. They started searching and located the 3rd floor unit where the fire had started.
Rather than leave immediately, their focus shifted to the neighbors; knocking on door and ringing buzzers to wake everyone up and tell them to get outside.
“It was just natural instinct on what I was taught to do, to basically react as quickly as possible and make sure that people are safe,” said Hill.
“We did that floor to floor until the fire department told us to get out. We literally were in there too long,” Gracia added.
The two were in there long enough to help get everyone out safely.
Their heroic acts did not go unnoticed by neighbors.
“She gave me a hug and thanked me and said that if it wasn’t for me and my friend, that her life could have possibly been lost,” Gracia revealed. “Her mom came and hugged me and was in tears and it kind of brought me to tears too.”
After Abel did so much to take care of others, many are now taking the opportunity to look out for him.
His sister has started a fundraiser on Facebook to raise money and begin replacing all that he has lost.
It will be a long road ahead, but Abel has remained nothing but positive.
“It is so hard to be depressed about this because I am so humbled by what everyone else is doing,” said Abel. “I am sure everyone else feels the same.”
Everyone else who lost their homes will be facing the same challenge of piecing their lives back together. Abel continues to look out for those around him and is asking that people find a way to help any of the dozens of people who he helped save.