HEROES: Construction workers save kids from house fire - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

HEROES: Construction workers save kids from house fire

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Crews work to extinguish a duplex fire in Evansdale. Two children were rescued by construction workers. (Michael Crowe, KWWL) Crews work to extinguish a duplex fire in Evansdale. Two children were rescued by construction workers. (Michael Crowe, KWWL)
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A pair of construction workers are being called heroes for pulling two young children from a burning building.

As the fire spread, the screams came long before the sirens. It happened at a duplex on Bellefontaine St. in Evansdale.

“She just came running out, saying, 'My house is on fire, I need help getting my babies,” said Ryan Siems.

Siems and Travis Moen were out front pouring concrete for a new driveway. It Wendi Smith was hysterical -- trapped inside were her two young children.

Without thinking, they ran into the burning Evansdale duplex. They didn't pause – they didn't need to.

“I've never been known for thinking,” Siems said with a laugh. “Ever.”

“We ran upstairs and got him, came down, got the girl off the couch and got outside,” said Moen. “We looked back and you could see the flames.”

Both were pulled from the fire without injury.

“I definitely have a new friend,” Moen laughed, holding the young boy.

To call Smith thankful –

“If it wasn't for them, my kids wouldn't be here,” she said through tears.

She had first tried to save them, but the fire was too fierce. She's also pregnant, in her third trimester.

“Due in a month,” she said.

First responders were on-scene just seconds later – but without Siems and Moen, they say it would likely have been too late.

“I arrived probably 30 seconds after the call came out,” said Sgt. Jeff Jensen of Evansdale Police. “I couldn't even get to the front door, so that's how close it was that those guys ran up and grabbed the children.”

Both men are being called heroes for their quick thinking.

“I don't know how to feel about that,” Siems said. “We're just here doing our job. That's all we're doing. I have a son his age at home and I would never let anything happen to a little 2-year-old boy.”

So while acts like this might not be in the job description for pouring concrete – he said it feels like fate brought them together.

“I probably will for the rest of my life,” Siems said. “Yep. I've been in a lot of wrong places at the wrong times, and it's nice to be in the right place at the right time. Yep.”

Evansdale Fire Chief Ryan Phillips says they believe the fire started because the three-year-old boy was playing with a lighter in the upstairs bedroom.

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