An Iowa man saved four siblings from a house fire after making a fortunate mistake when he took a wrong turn and stumbled across the raging inferno.
Brendon Birt told local ABC News affiliate KETV that he took a wrong turn while driving in Red Oak last Sunday and spotted the fire starting inside the family’s home.
“I just felt like somebody was in there because it was so late at night, you know?” Birt said. “I just knew that I had to act quick.”
He had a feeling in his gut that there were still people inside. So he began banging on the windows and yelling “Fire!”
Ring doorbell video captured the harrowing moments.
“Every second that was going by was just getting worse,” Birt told the station about waiting for anyone inside to come out of the blaze.
Soon after, three siblings — ages 8, 14, and 17 — ran out the front door of the house as flames swirled on the front porch.
Their 22-year-old brother ran through the front door moments later as the fire engulfed the porch more and more, the footage shows.
“They came out the door [and] I just felt like I just wanted to break down and cry,” Birt said.
The siblings said the pounding and screaming woke them as the smoke alarms failed to go off.
The oldest sibling, Bryce Harrison, told the local station that he woke up to “an oven of heat and flames on the front wall.”
“Everything was just black in the living room,” his younger brother Christopher Lehman said.
The children’s parents were out of town when they got the frightening call that their home had gone on fire with their children inside.
Their mother Tender Lehman said she was incredibly grateful to Birt.
“My kids wouldn’t have made it, man. They’re safe and they’re safe because of him,” she said. “I mean, lives were saved here.”
Five of the family’s dogs died in the fire, while two survived.
The family’s home was completely destroyed by the blaze, but Tender Lehman said she was just thankful her kids made it out uninjured.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.