Caught on video: Woman says ‘hero’ helped save her from burning Burnaby building

Click to play video: 'Woman grateful for ‘hero’ who helped rescue her from burning apartment building'
Woman grateful for ‘hero’ who helped rescue her from burning apartment building
A woman is thanking the man she calls a hero for helping save her from a burning apartment building in Burnaby on Saturday. As Grace Ke reports, the entire rescue was caught on video. – Apr 17, 2024

A remarkable rescue from a burning apartment building in Burnaby on Saturday was caught on video.

The saved woman, 79-year-old Anna Dosen, spoke with Global News to highlight her hero’s actions.

“I heard someone screaming, ‘fire, fire, fire, get out, get out, get out,’” Dosen said.

“I got up and I went to the sundeck, and I looked and there was a man screaming below to get out out pointing towards the fire.

“I turned to my right and I saw flames shooting out of the windows (from one of the neighbouring units).”

Tony Guzzo, who lives across the alley, was watching TV when he heard glass breaking. He saw the fire and leapt into action.

“Luckily, I remembered I had an extension ladder, (I) ran and grabbed it,” Guzzo said.

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“Threw it up there, ran inside, ran past her to see if I could get her out through the hallway. I opened the door. A big bunch of smoke came in and so I just shut it.”

Vitaly Kharitonchuk was driving with his family when he saw smoke and started recording. That’s when he saw Guzzo with the ladder.

“As I got closer, I saw him trying to rescue someone from the second-floor balcony. That’s when I jumped in,” he said.

The railing on Dosen’s balcony proved to be quite high for the 79-year-old, leading to Guzzo to think quickly on his feet.

“He climbed up and tried to put me over the sundeck and it was too high, … I couldn’t. He ran into the living room and got my coffee table, had me standing on there, and tried to get me over and it was again impossible. I just couldn’t bend my knees,” she said.

Guzzo said he went back inside the apartment to look for another table. “I went in and grabbed a little Ikea table, brought it out,” he said. “I put it her up on it and, thankfully at that time, the fire department was coming around the corner.”

With the help of a firefighter, she was able to get down the ladder.

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“He is my hero. He really is a hero. He risked his life to save mine,” Dosen said.

“It was very, very traumatic.”

Guzzo said he was just doing his duty as a community member.

“I don’t feel like a hero, I just did whatever came naturally,” he said.

Dosen suffered a heart attack in the incident, but thanks to the people who rescued her, she was able to celebrate her 79th birthday the day after the fire.

She hopes to reconnect with Guzzo.

“I am going to give him a big hug. I told my daughter to buy him the best cognac there is on the market,” she said.


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