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Good Samaritan breaks into house to save man from fire

Reported by: Amber Dixon
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Updated: 12/20/2012 6:44 am
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- Enrique Cuevas is thankful to be alive.

He was sleeping when a blaze began at his home Wednesday afternoon on Alto Avenue near Las Vegas Boulevard and Pecos Road.

A Good Samaritan pulled Cuevas out of the home.

Cuevas told News 3 he thought the man, who broke his window, woke him up and helped him get out was a firefighter, remembering the man wore a blue shirt with writing on the front.

Instead, the Good Samaritan was Paul Johnson, an employee at a local copy machine company.

The shirt he wore was also blue with the company logo on it.

“I was coming back from lunch, and I saw some smoke coming up from this,” Johnson said as he pointed to the house.

His hands were covered in bandages, a result of him breaking the glass to get Cuevas out.

Johnson said he was headed back to work when he saw the fire. He decided to stop.

“And then I heard someone say, ‘There is someone in the house, or I think someone is in the house,’ and so I ran to the rear window,” said Johnson. “I pulled out my box cutter and started smashing out the windows.”

That's when Johnson said he saw Cuevas sleeping.

“I'm like, ‘Your house is on fire. We gotta get you out!’ ” said Johnson.

Johnson did get him out, an action Clark County firefighters are hesitant of.

“My recommendation is that you don't do it, because you don't have the proper protective equipment that we wear as firefighters,” Clark County Deputy Fire Chief Erik Newman said. “But again we have to tip our hat off to that individual.”

Cuevas said he owes his life to Johnson’s bravery.

Cuevas spoke Spanish and said he’d like to thank the man in the blue shirt with words on it, whose bravery seemed more like that of a firefighter than of a man just trying to get to work.

Clark County firefighters said they suspect what caused the fire but are not releasing the information yet.

They said 30 mattresses were found at the home, and said they have heard of complaints that some at the house may be running a furniture business out of the home.

It could be a code violation, and the Fire Department said they will be looking into that as part of their investigation.
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