Yasmeen Hassan reporting

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – One person has died after a fire at a Sacramento apartment early Thursday morning.

The fire happened just after 2:30 a.m. on 53rd Street, near Fruitridge Road. Before the Fire Department could arrive, neighbors started rushing to help

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“I didn’t really see anybody interacting with the house so I went to the house. We got breaking windows. Apparently, I messed up my hand. I punched a window through. I didn’t know what else to do,” said Tracy Franklin.

Sacramento Fire officials say at least one unit was fully involved when firefighters got to the scene. When they finally got inside the unit where they think the fire started, they found the body of a 27-year-old man who was in town visiting his stepfather.

Exactly what caused the fire is still under investigation.

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Witnesses say one boy helped save an elderly woman from the flames.

“There were still people inside sleeping and so my son just hit with his bare hands through the window and luckily thank god the old lady came out and this is what was going on. While the house was burning she was in there sleeping and she didn’t even know,” said Kimi Franklin.

Firefighters say even if you’re familiar with an area, getting caught in an overnight fire is especially dangerous.

“If you wake up in a condition like that your chances of getting out successfully are minimal and from not having lived there, your odds are a lot less,” Captain Keith Wade, with the Sacramento Fire Department, said. “If you can imagine being startled awake in a normal environment can be disorienting, so now introduce loud noise, blacked out smokey conditions, you can’t breathe, you completely don’t know what’s going on and even in your own home that you’ve maybe lived in for many years you can quickly become disoriented.”

Firefighters say if you are in a similar situation, you should stay in the room you’re in, close the door, and try to escape through a window.

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The name of the person who died in the fire has not been released.