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Mar 11, 2016 4:15 PM

Everyday Heroes: Passerby saved 2 young children from burning Manchester apartment building

Raji Gupta of Manchester was driving home from a friend’s house on Nov. 18 when he spotted flames shooting from an apartment building on Rimmon Street.

He jumped out of his car and ran over to the burning building.

“Everybody was sleeping and nobody knew there was a fire," said Raji, who is being recognized as an Everyday Hero by American Red Cross, NH Chapter. "I yelled ‘fire! You gotta go!'"

It was about 1:15 in the morning and a freezing 20 degrees.

Fire trucks and emergency personnel hadn’t arrived yet. As the flames spread, Raji helped evacuate 11 people from the building.

He heroically rescued two young boys from their third floor apartment.

“I grabbed one child and ran down," Raji said. "Then I ran back up and grabbed the second child and ran back down. I knew there were families that needed to get out of the building."

Local Red Cross volunteers also jumped into action and helped comfort the shocked residents. It’s was Raji’s quick thinking and quick work that helped to save lives.

“There’s a lot of people who would drive by and do nothing,” said Jane Marrati, a Red Cross Volunteer who helped at the scene.

“It’s not easy to run into a burning building. For that person to run in was absolutely wonderful,” said Lorraine Wade, a Red Cross Volunteer.

With Raji’s help, everyone escaped safely, but most of the residents’ belongings were destroyed by the fire.

Raji is among the Everyday Heroes from New Hampshire being recognized Wednesday, March 16th at an awards ceremony to be held at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester. NH1 News is proud to be partnering with the American Red Cross, NH Chapter for this sold-out event.

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