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Phoenix-area neighbor hustles elderly woman from burning house

GUADALUPE, Arizona — An elderly woman was saved from a house fire by a neighbor early Tuesday morning near Tempe.

The fire off Baseline Road and Priest Drive sent trails of dark smoke into the air over Interstate 10 and filtered across the Valley westward.

Two homes were damaged. The blaze began in an alley, jumped to a power pole before spreading to three houses, Guadalupe Fire Capt. Alan Romania said.

Carmelo Bustillos smelled the smoke, raced out of his house, helped the woman out of her home then began pounding on other doors to wake his neighbors.

“She’s doing fine, Bustillos said of the woman. “She’s here with my neighbors, her daughter and sons are here. When they’re gone, I’m here. I feel happy about it. I’m a hero.”

Four fire departments — Guadalupe, Tempe, Phoenix and Mesa — responded to the fire.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.