A door-to-door salesman selling home fire alarms noticed smoke coming from a Garland home, heard a woman screaming and broke a window to rescue her.
Kaeriel Evans, 18, who has Down syndrome, was inside by herself when the blaze started in the 1600 block of Homestead Place at about 6 p.m.
"I heard this lady yelling, 'Help, help,'" said Corey Anderson, of Rowlett. "I looked down and saw the smoke so I took off running, and -- reaction -- I just started kicking in the windows."
He tried to find her but couldn't at first.
"As far as I went in, I couldn't see nothing," Anderson said. "It was just smoke."
Then, he heard her voice again.
"I heard somebody say, 'Help me, help me,' so I pushed over an entertainment center and kind of went in there and saw the girl and I told her, 'Drop down and come to me.' And she did. And I got her out."
Anderson sells home security systems that include fire alarms, he said. He hadn't yet made it to her house when he saw the smoke and flames.
Evans was transported to Parkland Memorial Hospital with smoke inhalation and minor burns but was expected to recover.
Soon, Evans' brother arrived home.
"When I saw the house burned up, that's the first thing I asked about -- where is my sister?" Kavaucey Lewis said.
Lewis, 20, said he lives in the house with five siblings and their mother.
He quickly learned about her rescue and thanked Anderson.
"I just told him how much I appreciate it because my sister is my heart," he said.
Anderson was humble about what he had done.
"I'm glad I was here and could help," he said. "I really do wish if that was my family, somebody would do the same thing."
Evans said he couldn't thank Anderson enough.
"He went in there and, you know, he's a hero," Evans said. "He went above and beyond."
Anderson said the word "hero" doesn't fit.
"I don't feel like a hero," he said. "I just feel like, I mean, it was reaction. At the time, I just went with my instincts."
Firefighters are investigating how the fire started.
Photo Credit: NBC 5 and Evans Family Photo