NORTH PLAINFIELD, New Jersey (WABC) --Two people are dead after a fire at an apartment complex in New Jersey, authorities say.
John Leon says his instincts kicked in, knowing the elderly couple that lived upstairs would need help He says he ran up there and broke their door in, but the fire had already engulfed their unit.
The fire broke out Sunday at the Regency Village Apartment complex in North Plainfield around noon, killing the couple. Leon says he did not hear their smoke detectors go off, and his apartment is gone.
"I didn't go far in. I saw across the door line, butthat smoke just smacked me in the face and I could not hold it. I almost fainted," Leon said, "The lady that lives in the hallway across from us, she was like 'John please come and help my aunt, come and help me get my animals out!' So I was like 'ok' I ran back in my apartment. I work in construction, I put in my respirator."
A total of fourteen residents in eight units have been displaced. Leon says he is not a hero, because a hero, he says would have saved that couple.
Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire
10 firefighters suffered from heat exhaustion.