A man who crawled through a narrow window to extinguish a raging fire Wednesday was lauded by firefighters as a hero.
Paul Bibeau, 39, was helping neighbors move into their Newport Beach home when he noticed smoke streaming from a nearby apartment in the 300 block of East Balboa Boulevard, fire officials said.
Wearing only swimming trunks and a tank top, Bibeau ran barefoot toward the burning second-story unit and grabbed a garden hose from a neighboring apartment, fire authorities said. Bibeau broke a small glass panel on the front door, creating a two-foot-wide opening that he slipped through.
"He had to be a Houdini to get through that hole," Fire Capt. Mike Murphy said.
Despite cuts to his left shoulder from the glass, Bibeau entered the blaze in a bedroom where a mattress had caught fire from an electrical short circuit, fire authorities said. The fire had already consumed most of the walls, the draperies and furniture in the bedroom, Murphy said.