NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A family in Queens has their neighbors to thank for saving their lives.
They were fast asleep while their Howard Beach home was on fire, but a young man across the street noticed something was wrong and acted fast.READ MORE: New York's COVID State Of Emergency Set To Expire Thursday
CBS2’s Jessica Layton spoke to the good Samaritans on Monday.
When Joe Behrens was getting home from his own birthday party just after midnight Sunday he had no idea his night was just beginning.
“I smelled fire, and I’m saying where’s that fire coming from?” Behrens said.
It was coming from just beyond the trees seen on the family’s surveillance video. His girlfriend, Cassidy Locurto, called 911.
“There’s kids in that house and everyone’s asleep. They need to get out,” Locurto said.
“I ran over. I ran up these stairs. I started banging on the door,” Behrens said.
His mom’s boyfriend, Andrew Besser, went from sound asleep to springing into action. He is seen kicking in a locked gate, before catching the mom who jumped from the second floor.READ MORE: Conservation Work Done On Gay Liberation Monument In Christopher Park
“People’s lives are at stake and you do what you can do,’ Besser said.
But there were still five other people inside — the husband, a grandfather and three kids. Behrens said he could see one of the little girls through a window and told her she had to get out of the house.
“The little girl was actually responding back to me. She was saying she couldn’t get out. She was confused,” Behrens said.
But she did crawl out. Family members and the FDNY worked to rescue everyone else.
“I’m pretty proud. The kids did the right thing,” Besser said.
“I feel like I did what I was supposed to do. You know, it’s how I was raised,” Behrens added.
It isn’t clear when the family will return after that fire that started in the kitchen, but the world’s best neighbors are waiting to welcome them back.MORE NEWS: 'Diaphragm Law' Banning NYPD Officers From Applying Pressure To Suspect's Torso Struck Down
CBS2’s Jessica Layton contributed to this report