VCU student saves man from burning home

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A VCU student is being called a hero after she ran into a burning home in The Fan to save an elderly man trapped inside.

The flames quickly engulfed the first two stories of the building. Amina Kaabi lives across the street.

She called 9-1-1 and then ran inside to help the people that live in these apartments.

Firefighters are saying she saved one man's life.

Moments before Richmond firefighters showed up on scene, Kaabi was mid-rescue.

"All I remember is holding my breath," Kaabi said.  "I didn't want to breathe in the smoke."

She says she wasn't thinking about her own safety when she ran in and barged into the apartment of an elderly man that lives on the bottom floor.

She then tried to carry him out of the burning building.

"At first I try to get him over my shoulder," she said.  "(I thought) maybe I can walk with him but he could barely walk so I scooped him up and took him out."

Crystal Sexton lives on the second floor. She says Kaabi helped rescue her dog while she tried to get out.

"Luckily I heard a pounding at the door," Sexton said.  "My first thought it was the Fire Department and I open the door and it's this nice young lady and she says, 'come on, your house is on fire. Get out.'"

Firefighters are usually the ones being called heroes. Now they're the ones calling Kaabi a hero.

"My sister just said I was crazy," Kaabi said.  "I didn't realize how serious it was at the time at all. I didn't think about that at all."

She says sitting around and waiting for emergency responders never crossed her mind.

"It would have killed me if I was standing there and someone was dying inside," she said.  "I can't be able to live with that thought."

Maybe she's just being modest, but Kaabi says she was just meant to be at the right place, at the right time.

"God has a plan for everybody," Kaabi said.  "He planned for me to be out there to come out there at that time."

Kaabi had a chance to visit the man she rescued in the hospital.  Firefighters say he's doing well and is being held for precautionary reasons.

Firefighters say this was an electrical fire that started in the basement.

There was approximately $35,000 in damage.

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