Clint Stephens saw smoke billowing from a window at a Citrus Heights apartment Thursday afternoon, so he and his friend ran to help.
“First, we go to the window and hear this old lady coughing and a baby crying,” Stephens said.
The fire started around 2:30 at the complex on Sunrise Vista Drive near Sunrise East Way. The woman was taken to the hospital with severe injuries.
“We run around to the front. My buddy said, ‘you have to kick that door down,'” Stephens, holding a small kitten, told FOX40. “I gave it two solid kicks and burst through. The first thing I saw no more than three feet from the door was this little cat.”
Firefighters say the woman was the only person in the apartment, though neighbors reported hearing what sounded like a baby crying.
Investigators say a dog and cat were killed in the fire.
“I’m thankful I was able to save this cat. I am thankful I was able to do something when I was needed,” Stephens said.
Three other units were damaged in the blaze.
Firefighters are working to determine the cause of the fire.