PHOENIX — Passers-by who came upon a burning home at dawn Tuesday broke open the front door, found two people on the floor just inside the door and pulled them outside.
The man and woman pulled from the home were hospitalized in critical condition for treatment of second-degree burns and smoke inhalation, said fire Capt. Ardell Deliz, a Fire Department spokeswoman.
The man had earlier alerted two other women in the home to the fire, and he told them to get out, which they did, Deliz said.
However, the man stayed inside the home, possibly to find and help the third woman or maybe to locate pets that were in the home, Deliz said.
Meanwhile, the four passers-by individually gathered outside the home and, alerted by the two distraught but otherwise OK women outside the home that others were still inside, took action.
One, a television service worker, got a pry bar from his vehicle, enabling them to loosen the door from its hinges, open it and pull out the man and woman, Deliz said.
The man and the woman were lying on the front yard when the first of numerous fire crews arrived at the scene, Deliz said. The bystanders soon left the scene, and the Fire Department was not immediately able to learn their identities, he said.
"They did a great job taking action," Deliz said.
Besides the television service worker, the other passers-by were described as two joggers and a security guard.
A pet turtle survived, but dog and a cat in the home died in the fire, which destroyed the house's interior and burned a large hole in the roof, leaving it uninhabitable, Deliz said.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.