ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Looking at the charred remains of the Lexington Place condominiums, Luis Rodriguez stares in wonder.
- Luis Rodriguez can't explain why he made a U-turn where he did
- As he was driving, he spotted a fire breaking out at condo complex
- He couldn't get into gated community but called 911, shouted for help
- RELATED: 14 Displaced After Orange County Condo Fire
"I don't know why. That is why I say it's God. That is why I turn around here, just right in front of the fire. I don't understand," he says.
Rodriguez is a food delivery worker, and around 1 a.m. one night in early February, he was driving near International Drive. Rodriguez said he made a U-turn on Westwood Boulevard, right in front of the condos, when something small caught his eye.
"I'm like, that is fire. I start running and try to open the gate to try and put it out," Rodriguez said.
But he couldn't get into the gated community, so he called 911.
"There is a fire over here!" he shouted to a 911 operator. "I cannot go in because the gate is closed... It's big; it's getting bigger. Oh my God!"
While still on the phone, Rodriguez did the only thing he could think of to help the people inside unaware of the fire.
In the 911 call, Rodriguez can be heard shouting, "Hey everybody, fire!"
"I hope there is not people in there," Rodriguez says to the 911 operator.
Seconds later, Rodriguez yelled to a resident who came out of their condo, "Hey! There is fire right next to you bro! It's right next to you man!"
The operator quickly told Rodriguez, "Sir, tell him to pull the fire alarm on the building!"
Rodriguez shouted the request, and the resident complied. Minutes later, residents from three floors started coming out of their condos.
"When I heard the screaming, I was like, 'What is going on?' and I came out and I was like, 'Oh my God.' It was a disaster. The flames were like this big," said Andleeb Ali, gesturing.
"One person (was) screaming, 'Hey it's fire... Everybody out, everybody out!" said another resident, Aurora Mendez.
It took dozens of firefighters to put out the enormous fire started by an electrical malfunction. No one was hurt.
"She was telling me I saved her life. I'm glad I could help," Rodriguez said with a smile.