Gail Johnston, an 80-year-old resident of Glen Burnie, Maryland, was struggling to escape from her burning home Wednesday. Fortunately for her, a college student who happened to be passing by saw her and rescued her as firefighters tried to put out the flames, WJZ-TV reported.
Johnston's daughter, Carleen Perez, called Tre Williams a guardian angel for acting quickly to save her mother at his own risk.
"So he just happened to be here," Perez said. "I believe the Lord put him here for that reason. He was impressed to do it, and he did it."
Williams was walking home from class, and he noticed smoke in the air coming from a house. As he got closer, he realized there was a woman inside struggling to escape the flames.
The fire department was on the scene, but the firefighters didn't seem to notice the woman trying to get out the back door.
"I yelled to the fire department 'Somebody's in the house!'" Williams told WJZ. "But it was loud, like the sirens, and there was a lot of cars driving by."
So Williams took matters into his own hands.
"That's when I jumped over the fence and went in and opened the door for her," Williams said. "She was struggling to get the door open."
Johnston has cancer and is on oxygen due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The fire department said the blaze was caused by smoking materials in a mulch bed.
Williams met with Johnston's family after the situation was resolved, and they thanked him for his heroic act.
"I keep telling everybody, I don't think I'm a hero or anything," Williams told WJZ. "It's just, I did something I wish anybody else would have done."