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18-year-old credited with saving younger brother from house fire

HAYWARD, Calif. – An 18-year-old boy is credited with saving his younger brother from a fire that consumed their family’s home.

When he heard his uncle screaming in another part of the house, 18-year-old Petelo Finau ran from his bedroom to find that flames were consuming part of their home.

The blaze separated him from getting to his younger brother, Francis, so Petelo knew he had to act fast.

“I cam out from that window; I had to jump out the window. I kind of fell, it was weird. Then I ran over here and had to pull myself up from there,” Petelo told KRON.

Witnesses say Petelo jumped from the ground and held onto the window’s ledge of his younger brother’s room. He was able to hoist himself up to his underarms, but saw that his younger brother was frozen with fear.

Francis has autism and is terrified of heights. At one point, he shut the window on Petelo.

“I honestly thought that he would have passed and at that moment I was thinking through all my memories of him and it really struck me at that moment how much he meant to me,” he said.

Eventually, Francis opened the window and was able to climb down with the help of a ladder.

Firefighters say things would have been much worse had Petelo not acted as fast as he did.

“I think that this young man has some athletic ability that probably a lot of us aren’t blessed with and I think that probably led to the positive outcome that we’re talking about,” said Alameda County Battalion Chief John Whiting.