Mario Reyes, a father of four, said he didn't think twice about helping out

By Rachel DeSantis
March 13, 2020 03:09 PM
Piscataway Township

A New Jersey father of four is being praised as a hero after he helped rescue a family of seven from their burning home by catching their young children from a second-story window.

Mario Reyes stepped up early Tuesday morning after his neighbor’s two-story home caught fire in Piscataway, according to a Facebook post from Piscataway Township.

Reyes, who lives across the street, not only caught two children who were tossed from a window, but “went into the burning house at risk of his life to save others, bringing one adult out of the house,” the post said.

Angel Gomez, who lived in the home, said the window was the only way out, and that she called down to Reyes below before dropping the children.

“I said, ‘I’m gonna throw them downstairs, I’m gonna throw them to you.’ I sent all my kids down and he was catching them. Every throw, he would catch them,” she told WLNY. “Thank God for him, because he didn’t drop them at all. He was just catching them, catching them, catching them.”

Neighbor Bianca Clark Muhammad was the one to call 911, and told the outlet that Reyes at one point used a sledgehammer to knock down bars on the basement window, from which a man inside the house emerged.

“This man is an absolute hero,” she said. “Like, he caught babies, he broke down bars. And if they didn’t react the way they did, I’m certain that no one would’ve survived that.”

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She said she went into her home to find clothing for the displaced family, which includes two babies and a toddler, as they took refuge in Reyes’ home.

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“He really saved us, he saved our lives,” Gomez told WLNY.

Reyes told the outlet, using his son as a translator, that as a father of four he didn’t think twice about helping.

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The family members were all taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital for examination and treatment, according to the Facebook post.

Multiple agencies, including the New Market Fire Department and the North Stelton Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad, responded to the scene. The house was entirely destroyed.

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