One homeless man didn’t ask for recognition when he helped save a family trapped in a fire.

Sometimes heroes are the people we least expect.

In Phoenix, Arizona, a local homeless man helped save an entire family from an out of control fire.

How One Homeless Man Helped a Family Trapped in a Fire

homeless man playing with a cat

Just after 4 in the morning on May 18, Claudia Jimenez and her two children were fast asleep while a blazing fire was consuming their apartment building.

“I went to the front door and opened it and the flames were already covering my front door. The whole stairs were on fire already,” Jimenez told a local news outlet.

“Neighbors started to bang on doors, trying to wake everyone up and get everyone out.”

Jimenez and her two children were trapped in their second-floor unit, unable to use the main stairwell or even leave through their front door without walking directly into the blaze.

Seemingly out of options, Jimenez ran to the back bedroom, opened the window, and began screaming out for help. “I started yelling, yelling, ‘Please someone help me! There’s a fire! I can’t get out! I need someone to help me,'” she recounted.

Thats when Joe Hollins bravely became a hero. “I’m gonna help you,” Hollins responded.

Hollins had been homeless in the area for some time, and was sleeping nearby the apartment building when he saw it go up in flames. Once he heard Claudia’s voice, he rushed closer to her unit, and thought quickly on his feet. He told Jimenez to drop her kids and two dogs out the window, and assured her that he would catch them. Originally, he even tried to scale the building, revealing, “I actually tried to climb up the side of window and grab ‘em as far as I could.”

“Then I said, ‘I got you, don’t worry.’”

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Jimenez, her 1-year-old daughter Valerie, and 8-year-old daughter Natalie were all able to safely exit the burning building without serious injuries, thanks to Hollins. He even caught the families two dogs as well.

“I really have no words. I will forever be thankful to him. To me, he was an angel. He was there when I needed, I looked around, he was only one around. Because of him we are alive and my daughters are safe,” Jimenez said.

When asked if he felt like a hero by a news crew on the scene, Hollins had a humble response. “Anybody would do it,” he said, adding he did what he had to do and was in the right place at the right time. He also said he was happy to help. This type of nobility is rare, and marks a true hero.

Now, others are stepping up in a different way. Though they survived the fire, the Jimenez family lost their home and possessions, and a fundraising campaign has been set up to help them get back on their feet.

Remarkably, the campaign has exceeded its $10,000 goal, with support pouring in from all over.

The story has struck a chord with all who come across it, and shines a powerful light on the heroic act of Hollins — though he doesn’t ask for any shine.