Passerby a hero after saving 2 children, woman from burning Staten Island building

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A.J. Ross has the exclusive story.

A Staten Island man is being called a hero after he saved two children and a woman from a burning home on Tuesday.

After a long day at work, Delroy Lewis was just a few feet from his Staten Island home Tuesday evening when a flicker caught his eye.

"When I looked over I saw the windows were on fire," Lewis said.

He says huge flames were shooting from the front window of his neighbors Lockman Loop apartment and he heard the faint cries of children inside.

"I bang on it and it was open so I pushed myself in and when I went in the smoke was so huge and so black," Lewis said.

With the dense smoke too thick to see through Lewis used his hands to guide him to the small boy and girl huddled near the middle of the studio apartment paralyzed with fear.

"They were crying but they were like frozen, maybe they were scared because of the fire to come out. So I went inside and when I went inside the smoke was so dense that I had to just like feel myself to them," Lewis said.

After pulling the children outside to safety, Lewis then banged on Wanda Armstrong's upstairs apartment.

"I didn't know what was going on, I couldn't see anything, because it was real black in the apartment so he just grabbed me and dragged me out," Armstrong said. "Oh I hugged him, I hugged him to death, and he was like, 'Oh no need.' Very humble."

The fire ripped through the two-story building in a matter of minutes, leaving very little behind.

As relatives sifted through the aftermath Wednesday, Armstrong and others reflected on the bravery of their neighbor.

"Do you think he deserves the title hero?" Eyewitness News asked.

"Yes he does. I really do. He risked his life dearly, so I think he does," Armstrong said.

"That's what New Yorkers do and I guess we on Staten Island do the same thing," Lewis said.

Fire investigators were back out there Wednesday, but so far there is no official cause for the blaze.
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child rescuefire rescuebuilding fireNew York City
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