Oakland man called hero, rescues disabled woman from burning home

An Oakland man is being called a hero after rescuing a disabled woman from a burning home.

KTVU spoke with the hero who says he was just in the right place at the right time.

Everyone living near 76th street and Hillside reported hearing non-stop fireworks after dark on July 4th. Neighbors say one of those fireworks shot across the street and set a tree on fire.

In the video, you can see DeShawn Holcomb rushing into the blaze after he learned there were still people inside the building.

“I heard the lady screaming when I came around the corner. By the time I got around here, I kind of confirmed there was still somebody in the house, so it was just, ‘man, let’s go in there and get them out of there’,” said Holcomb.

Holcomb returned to the home by daylight where he met with Dorothy Oaks. Her daughter Dana has multiple sclerosis and couldn’t leave. Oaks weren’t leaving either.

“I wasn’t going to leave without her,” Holcomb said. “So we would have been trapped in here.” 

Today the families who live just around the corner from each other met formally for the first time. Including DeShawn’s mother, Denise Stepney, who could be heard calling out to her son.

“When I saw him go in, I was a little worried I said, ‘Gee I hope he's going to be OK,’" first of all. Then he was in here so long I was like, ‘Am I going to have to run in?’” Stepney laughed. 

With flames in the front of the house— Holcomb and another man who rushed in were forced to use a side exit to get everyone to safety. 

“They came in and they picked her up and they were concerned if there was anybody else in the house. They were just wonderful,” said Oaks.

Holcomb said he was lucky to be in the right place at the right time and hopes others will rush in to help when called. 

“I got four young children. So [for] them seeing this, seeing something other than all the other stuff that goes on around here, like, man. Hopefully that will stick with them for a lifetime,” Holcomb said.

Today all that’s left is a burned tree, melted plastic and the bonds of neighbors looking out for one another, which brought these families together.