A Moline, IL. neighborhood is celebrating a local hero after a woman risked life and limb to save her neighbors.
Julia Belmonte arrived home from work last week to find a neighbor’s duplex bellowing smoke. The pregnant woman sprung into action without regard for personal safety and stormed the building as flames engulfed it.
“I was nervous,” she said. “But I did it because I know there’s people up there.”
Belmonte ran to an upstairs apartment where an entire family was asleep, unaware of the impending danger. She helped them to escape as the blaze spread and once they were out safely, she made her way to the apartment downstairs.
“They said they were all asleep at the time,” Belmonte recalled. “Actually, the little boy said he smelled smoke, but he didn’t think anything of it.”
Keeping a cool head in the heat of the fire, Belmonte quickly searched the first floor apartment and found a frightened Dachshund mix trapped inside. She removed the dog from the apartment, carrying it as she ran from the burning building.
Just moments later, the dog was delivered to a grateful relative of its owner, who was not home at the time of the fire. “Thank God for her,” Tina Taylor said. “She saved the dog and saved the people upstairs.”
The American Red Cross is providing assistance to displaced residents, while those involved continue to applaud Belmonte’s heroic actions. In an interview with WQAD she told reporters, “I feel really good. I’m glad that someone was out here to do something.”