SIOUX FALLS, SD -
Fire investigators are still piecing things together, but say the fire started around ten o'clock Thursday night, sending heavy smoke through the apartment as a mother and her three children were likely getting ready for bed.
Neighbors heard cries inside the apartment and put themselves in danger to save the young children.
As the fire burned, Josh Taylor saw smoke coming from his neighbor's patio door. He grabbed a fire extinguisher and ran to help.
"The mother was out already. She was yelling that she had kids inside and at that point that was all that mattered, just getting the kids out," Taylor said.
Through the thick smoke, he pulled out one child through the siding door as more neighbors came to the rescue.
"She said she had one more child in the house and we could hear him crying. And I think we were hoping he was in the bedroom. I don't know if we knew definitely, but it was a hope and it paid off," Taylor said.
Taylor used the fire extinguisher to break the bedroom window.
"I didn't really see him; I just saw his arm. I grabbed his arm and pulled him through the window," Taylor said.
And while it was risky, Sioux Falls Fire Chief Jim Sideras says Taylor and the other rescuers did the right thing.
"I think their actions did save these two kids because of the amount of smoke and the kids were so young, they really didn't know what to do," Sideras said.
Fortunately, their neighbors acted quickly. And while Taylor is being called a hero, he says he didn't do anything special. He's just thankful that everyone got out of here alive.
"I think I did what anybody else would do, put in the situation. I just happened to get here first," Taylor said.
Fire rescue says it will take weeks before the cause of the fire is determined. The Red Cross is helping the family get on their feet after losing their home.
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