Teen killed rescuing others in Brighton Beach fire

18-year-old man killed after rescuing people from a burning building in Brighton Beach. (Gary Goldstein)

February 24, 2012 7:53:51 PM PST
An 18-year-old man died while rescuing people from a burning home in Brooklyn.

The fire broke out at 12:10 p.m. Friday inside the building on Brighton 3 Street in Brighton Beach.

Jordan Caballero's father is doing his best to pick up the pieces.

"Everyone's in shock right now," he said.

He's piled his family's belongings in plastic bags.

That's what's left, or at least all that he could find in the burned out home with the help of a flashlight.

"He doesn't want to talk, he's really devastated," a family friend said.

A family friend says it's too painful for him to talk about his son.

The one neighborhood residents are calling a hero.

"(Is he a hero?) I believe he is, tried to save his brother, tried to save the rest of the people inside the home," a neighbor said.

18-year-old Jordan Caballero was home with his 9-year-old brother when the fire started.

It was shortly after noon and 2847 Brighton 3 Street was burning.

The flames quickly spread through the two story residential building.

According to his relatives, first the 18-year-old got his brother out.

"He takes little brother, then he comes back," Jiancarlo Granja, the victim's cousin said.

He went back in despite the obvious danger, first to call 911, and then to rescue a neighbor, 61-year-old woman who lived in a first floor apartment.

Witnesses say he got her out too.

Then, he collapsed.

Firefighters were videotaped trying to revive him, but Jordan later died.

"He's the hero today," a neighbor said.

Neighbor Joe Izzo stood across the street marveling at the tragedy.

"It's something that happened that should never happen and it's hard to face could happen to anyone," Izzo said.

On this day, it happened to the Caballero family.

Once a family of four, trying to be strong for the son that Jordan saved.

"It's very hard, the parents are devastated, the parents are trying to stay strong because of the 9-year-old they have to look after," Granja said.

The woman is listed in stable condition.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.

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