HIGHLAND, Calif. (AP) — Authorities said a Southern California man who came to the rescue of people in a burning mobile home was found dead in the wreckage, and his family is calling him a hero.
The blaze erupted early Saturday morning in the Highland area of San Bernardino County, according to the state’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Arriving firefighters found four people had been evacuated from the mobile home, but the rescuer died, Cal Fire said in a statement.
The body was found in the debris after the flames were put out, the county coroner’s office said.
The coroner’s office did not immediately identify the victim, but family members told KTLA-TV he was 25-year-old Albert Madrid.
His sister, Melissa Enriquez, said her brother chose to go in and help, and she hopes he is remembered for that.
“He was only 25 years old, but he was the bravest man I have ever known,” Madrid’s father, Robert Madrid, wrote in a eulogy on a memorial website. “I am so proud of my son, my hero.”
A fund has been established online to aid Madrid’s family.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.