Stranger saves boy, proposes to girlfriend

October 1, 2009 11:38:16 AM PDT
A young boy in the Bronx is alive thanks to a stranger who pulled him from a burning building. The man rescued the boy and carried him wrapped in a curtain down the fire escape.

The Good Samaritan who helped rescued the boy is Horia Cretan.

SLIDESHOW: Photos from the scene

Cretan was working in a nearby store on Zerega Avenue in the Parkchester section on Wednesday evening when he heard desperate screams.

"I rushed outside ... to see waves of smoke coming out the window," he said. "I ran and got my ladder. I got close to the fire escape and climbed my way up."

Cretan said that when he first got to the window, no one else was around.

"I saw a man sitting in the window screaming ... I believe he was in a state of shock," he said. "He couldn't make his way out. I forced him out."

The man told Cretan there was someone else in the smoke-filled room, a small boy.

"That's when I broke the windows, to make sure that the smoke comes out ... I needed to see where the boy was," he said.

Moments later, firemen arrived and helped Cretan pull the boy out and onto the fire escape.

The child was unconscious, but Cretan was determined to save him. He ran down the fire escape cradling the child in his arms, stopping at one point to deliver CPR.

"I couldn't go all the way down the stairs. I had to make sure I could do something now because this is probably the last seconds he has left," Cretan said.

Within a few seconds, the boy was awake and breathing again. Cretan gave a thumbs up sign to the crowd below.

It's not the first time that Cretan saved a life from a fire. As a 12-year-old in Romania, Cretan saved his younger sister from a fire that killed his father.

On Good Morning America, just after Cretan explained his rush to save the two from a fire in a Bronx apartment building, he asked his girlfriend to marry him, promising, "there's never going to be a dull moment." His girlfriend, Desiree Guzman, said, "Yes."

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