Three California teens are being lauded as heroes after a day of hooky turned into a daring rescue mission.
Garen Kissoyan, Peter Kravariotis and Kirill Yantikov, all seniors at California High School in San Ramon, were ditching class about 10 a.m. Monday to get something to eat, a local NBC affiliate reported.
The teens told police they noticed the smoke at the 100 block of Scarboro Place and saw Dianna Davis, 71, who was in the garage calling for help.
“I was turning on the hose, she was on the phone with 911,” Garen said. “We asked the lady if anyone was in the house at the time — she didn’t respond.”
The woman eventually said her 94-year-old mother was inside.
“Now that I think about it was crazy, but in the moment it was instinct,” Garen told local news station KTVU. “Just go in the house, so we did.”
The teens ran into the blaze and saw the woman sitting in a chair, covered in soot.
“When we picked up the chair and we grabbed the dog, the only thing she said to us was ‘I’m on fire,’ and it was kind of shocking to me to hear that,” Peter said.
Neighbor Bob Smith tried at one point to save the woman, but couldn’t because of the smoke.
“The elderly lady, she would have been gone a minute and a half more,” he told NBC. “I don’t think she could have survived. I went in there and couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. It was that bad.”
Firefighters arrived and put out the two-alarm blaze. Investigators are trying to determine the cause of the fire.
The elderly woman was taken in critical condition to a burn center in San Francisco.
The high school recognized the students for their bravery the next day.
“[I am] exceptionally proud of the three young men who would reach out and do something like that because they could’ve easily kept walking,” California High Principal Mark Corti told KTVU. “But they saw smoke, moved towards where the fire was and ultimately saved somebody.”