Passerby saves family from house fire in southwestern Iowa

Four siblings in Iowa are alive today thanks to a man who made a wrong turn at the right time.
Published: Oct. 28, 2022 at 9:27 AM CDT
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RED OAK, Iowa (CNN) - Four siblings in Iowa are alive today thanks to a man who made a wrong turn at the right time.

He was driving by their house in Red Oak, Iowa when it started to go up in flames. That’s when he sprung into action.

The whole thing was captured on Ring doorbell video. It shows the Lehman family’s home turn into an inferno.

Brendon Birt, the passerby, is heard in the video pounding on windows on the side of the house and shouting that the people inside need to get out of the house.

The smoke alarms in the house were not going off.

“Like every second that was going by was just getting worse,” Birt said.

He said he took a wrong turn down the road in Red Oak, and just happened to see the fire starting.

“I just felt like somebody was in there because it was so late at night, you know? I just knew that I had to act quick,” Birt said.

Three children and their 22-year-old brother were inside the home. The banging and screaming woke them up.

“Everything was just black in the living room,” Christopher Lehman said. “There was nothing left of it.”

The Ring doorbell camera footage also shows the moment the three younger kids burst through the front door, through smoke and flames.

“They came out the door,” Birt said. “Like, I just felt like- I just wanted to break down and cry. Like, I don’t even know these people here.”

And what felt like an eternity after that, the oldest sibling escaped just in time.

“Walked up into an oven of heat and flames on the front, the front wall,” Bryce Harrison said.

The children’s parents were out of town when they got the call.

Their mother, Tender Lehman, met the man who saved her children.

“I’m so incredibly grateful, (for sure),” she said. “My kids wouldn’t have made it man.”

Five dogs didn’t make it out of the home. Two others survived.

The house is a total loss.