Commerce City Workers Rescue Man from Burning Building

City council to recognize act of heroism on Aug. 5.

By EGP Staff Report

Two Commerce City park maintenance workers credited with saving the life of a man on Tuesday will be recognized by the City Council at their meeting on Aug. 5.

Anthony Delgado and Armando Zuniga were on their way down Washington Boulevard on Tuesday morning to irrigate street medians when they spotted smoke, according to the city. They followed the smoke to a commercial building and called 911 to report the structure fire.

Delgado and Zuniga saw an 18-wheel semi truck parked in front of the building with a sleeping driver inside, so they woke up the driver who then moved his truck to allow access for emergency vehicles.

That’s when the city workers saw a man on the floor of the building’s entrance, gasping for air. According to the city, the two men acted quickly and pulled the victim to safety.

Delgado, a 20-year city employee, is captain of the City’s Urban Search and Rescue Team. “There wasn’t time to think about what was happening so we did what we were trained to do. Our job is to help people,” Delgado said in a written statement.

Zuniga has worked for the city for 28 years and served on the Urban Search and Rescue Team from 1991 to 1996. “I’m just happy that no one got hurt,” he said.

According to the Los Angeles County Fire Department, the fire at the building in the 5200 block of East Washington Boulevard was reported at 5:31 a.m. and extinguished after about 30 minutes.

A county fire department dispatcher said the cause of the fire was accidental and damage was estimated at $50,000 to the structure and $10,000 to the contents. According to the dispatcher, the site of the fire is now a crime scene because the building was allegedly being used to grow marijuana.

It had been used for that purpose in recent weeks, according to the dispatcher.

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August 1, 2013  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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