A woman escaped a fire at her northwest Miami-Dade apartment Sunday night and got a helping hand from a firefighter in retrieving a precious memento from her home.
The fire swept through the apartment at 10245 Northwest 9th Street Sunday, but not before a neighbor helped the woman, Yolanda Mayor, out.
But Mayor, whose son was a firefighter and died in 2000 in a motorcycle crash on his way to work, would not leave the scene without his photo. Firefighters were able to grab the photo and presented it to her.
No one was hurt in the fire, but Mayor's apartment was a total loss, and some others were damaged by smoke.
"I don't want to remember it," said Delfina Rodriguez who escaped the flames in the building with her husband and wheelchair-bound son.
"The alarms for sure did not go off," said Lilly Canizares, who said she begged Mayor to leave her apartment.
But Mayor, who is in her 70s, was adamant about getting the photo, Canizares said.
"She didn't want to go," she said.
Firefighter Andy Suarez, who helped Mayor locate the picture, said her gratitude was evident.
"I did not expect that hug," he said. "She went limp in my arms. I held her, escorted her to the bench and attempted to clean the picture up a little and showed me the picture of her son. It was a nice warm feeling.
Canizares said Mayor told her she was cooking and had forgotten the food on her stove.