Mariachi Thanks Firefighter ‘Hero’

By EGP Staff Report

Antonio Bedoy, 67, says he was getting ready to go to bed on Dec. 1 when he smelled smoke. He looked out his window and thought one of his neighbors was lighting a barbeque pit; he never heard the other residents shouting fire. It wasn’t until he saw the flames coming into his bedroom that he realized his apartment complex—a Victorian home on a hill in Boyle Heights—was on fire.

“I was dangling from the window, [the flames were already hitting my arms] if the fire would have started to burn my face I probably would have let go,” Bedoy told EGP in Spanish, admitting he is still a little shaken up by the whole ordeal, though physically he is fine, and was only lightly burned on the back of  his arms.

Antonio Bedoy, 67 years old, Mariachi musician thanked firefighter Martin Marquez for saving his life last week. EGP photo by Gloria Angelina Castillo

Mariachi musician Antonio Bedoy (white t-shirt) thanked firefighter Martin Marquez (right) for saving his life last week. EGP photo by Gloria Angelina Castillo

The day after the fire, Bedoy credited Firefighter Martin Marquez, of Fire Station 2 located on Cesar Chavez Avenue, for saving his life. Marquez and the other firefighters arrived with a ladder just in the nick of time, he said.

Bedoy, and Leonel Barajas, 56, and Maximino Guerra, 65, all Mariachi musicians, said their instruments and wardrobes were destroyed in the fire leaving them without the tools of their trade and a way to make a living.

Donations are being accepted to help the musicians get back on their feet.

LAFD Public Information Officer Captain Steve Ruda said donations to assist Bedoy and the other 25 single men who resided at the apartment complex at 1519 Las Vegas Street could be dropped off at Fire Station 2.

He also reminded the public of the existence of Renters Insurance. Renters’ Insurance is inexpensive, for $10-$13 a month, renters can protect their personal belongings, he said.

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December 9, 2010  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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