A homeless man rescued two children from a burning east Las Vegas apartment building Friday afternoon, according to Las Vegas Fire and Rescue.

Crews responded to 2612 E. Mesquite Ave., near Eastern Avenue and Bonanza Boulevard, just after 11:30 a.m. with reports of the fire with two small children trapped inside. Firefighters went looking for the children as they battled the blaze. They had it under control in less than 10 minutes.

Fire investigators said the fire started on the stove in a pan with cooking grease. The two children, aged 10-months-old, and 3-years-old were in the living room when the fire started. Their grandfather, who was watching the children, was in a back room when it started. At that time, smoke started to go out the front door which was open, a security bar door was closed and dead-bolt locked to keep people out.

Anival Angulo, of Las Vegas, who is currently homeless, was walking by the apartment building and noticed smoke so he went around to see what it was. That's when he heard the children crying, so he jumped a locked gate and found smoke coming through the security door. He saw the little girl standing near the door in the smoke-filled apartment but she could not open the door. Angulo pulled the steel door and bent it upward. The girl ran to Angulo. He noticed the infant on the floor and pulled the child out.

Both kids were taken to University Medical Center where they were checked for minor smoke inhalation. There were no other reported injuries.

The department said without Angulo's help, the children would have likely suffered severe smoke inhalation and burns.

The American Red Cross is assisting three adults and one child displaced by the fire.

The fire destroyed the kitchen and living room and there were severe heat and smoke damage to the rest of the apartment. Damage was estimated at $50,000.

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