Upland

Watch: Teen helps save family as fire engulfs Upland home

Caleb Delasantos credits his heroic actions to his father, who died in February

NBC Universal, Inc.

Cellphone video captured the heart-pounding moments a teenager jumped into action to help save an Upland family whose home caught fire on the Fourth of July.

Caleb Delasantos, 19, was watching fireworks with his girlfriend around 10 p.m. when he saw flames shooting up from the residence. He darted to the scene and helped the panicked and disoriented residents before firefighters arrived.

“We were just following just the smoke trail that we seen in the sky, and we eventually found the little road that led up to the house,” Delasantos said in an interview with NBC4.

Once they arrived, Delasantos immediately ran up to the home and heard someone say her dad was inside.

"Right as I was opening the door, I met up with the guy that was in the home, the homeowner, and he was like in a frantic panic mode. He kept saying, ‘Get the keys. Get the keys,’” Delasantos recalled.

He grabbed the keys and gave them to the man’s wife, Marianne Hiebsch, as all three ran outside.

Delasantos then helped guide the couple as they moved their cars away from their fully engulfed garage. As the fire raged, Delasantos grabbed a water hose and tried to do his best to keep the fire from spreading to the home while also making sure the family’s pets were OK.

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Thanks in part to Delasantos’ quick-thinking actions, firefighters were able to save the home.

“Being that the firemen weren’t here yet, that he had turned on the hose and he really helped my husband kind of get it together and be like, ‘Hey, we need the car keys. Let’s move your cars, let’s get those out of the driveway.’ He was the thinker as everything is going on around us,” Hiebsch said.

She and her family had an emotional reunion with Delasantos, who attributed his ability to help to his father watching from above.

“Through the whole thing, my dad was by my side most of the time, just because he was like my guardian angel in the moment. He brought me to that place at the right time,” said Delasantos, whose dad died in February.

The homeowners believe illegal fireworks may have sparked the blaze, but fire officials said the case remains under investigation.

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