Brothers Save Woman From Deadly Lakewood House Fire

"She was there and we knew we couldn't leave her"

Two brothers are being credited with saving a woman's life after a fire broke out at a Lakewood home and killed the woman's brother.

Firefighter responded to the blaze on the 19900 block of Corby Avenue around 1:30 a.m. Saturday, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said. A 51-year-old woman was trapped in a back bedroom as the home filled with thick, black smoke.

"You heard a voice, a small, faint voice and you did see a hand," said Alex Ramos, who, along with his brother, quickly grabbed a hose and jumped over a wall and toward the burning home.

The brothers broke open the windows and began trying to pull the woman out, initially to no avail. "The reason why it was so hard was because every time we would go in to pull her up, we were breathing the air and would fall back down," Ramos said.

But on the third tug, and with the victim willing herself toward them, the brothers were able to pull her out.

The woman was taken to a hospital with minor burns and smoke inhalation. Her 57-year-old brother, however, was found dead, lying on the living room floor. A dog also died in the fire.

"He was homebound, disabled, and they took care of each other," neighbor Genevieve Martinez said of the brother and sister. "They recently lost their mother a year ago."

Ramos said he was just happy to help, even if he did suffer cuts on his hands and feet from running barefoot through the glass to save his neighbor. "She was there and we knew we couldn't leave her," he said. "I'm glad she's okay."

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's arson team is investigating the cause of the fire.

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