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Local kids save people from motel fire

Local kids save people from motel fire

YAKIMA, Wash. --At about 7:20 A.M., firefighters were taken aback when they arrived at the Sunshine Motel. A dumpster fire had spread to the rooms. 15-year-old Joe Puentes - a hero, for rescuing his neighbor.

“I went to room 22 and David, is his name, he's injured, and sort of crippled, I ran to his door, kicked it, it took two kicks. I kicked where the hinges were, and got it open,” said Puentes.

Puentes' sister - a hero, too. She alerted him and others about the fire. And she says she saw who started it.

“A girl had gone to the back and set these little pellet things on fire behind my room, and I was in my friend's room spending the night, and we were just going out to get some toilet paper, and my friend holly had saw the smoke,” said 10-year-old Kiana Richardson.

Richardson acted quickly.

“I told her to stay there so she wouldn't get hurt. I went over and I saw the fire. I immediately ran to my room, I pounded on the door and said, ‘everybody get out - there's a fire!’”

Despite her bravery, Richardson says she was scared and worried.

“What was going through my mind is, ‘Is all our stuff gonna burn? Is everybody else's stuff gonna burn? Is my mom or my brother or my friend's gonna get hurt? Is everybody gonna be ok? How are we gonna do it? How are we gonna get all our stuff back if it burns?’” said Richardson.

Thanks to this quick-thinking brother-sister duo, no injuries were reported. The Yakima Fire Department and the Yakima Police Department are investigating the cause, and the police do have a 29-year-old female suspect in custody.

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