STOCKTON (CBS13) — A family in Stockton was rescued by school district employees this past Friday after a fire broke out at their home on East Alpine Avenue.

Smoke billowed into the Stockton sky, coming from a home on East Alpine street, but firefighters weren’t the first on scene. Stockton Unified School District employees were.

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“We could see just smoke and we saw two ladies and a baby,” said Sally Forgach works in attendance for the Stockton Unified School District.

Forgach said was checking in on distance learning students when she spotted the fire and the family in trouble.

“They were panicking, they were crying,” she said.

Forgach explained that the family was trapped, locked in the front yard behind an iron gate. As the fire inched closer to the family, the women passed their baby to Forgach over the gate, but they couldn’t escape themselves.

“The fence was too high and one of them was an elderly lady,” Forgach said.

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Her partner, Mark Scrivens, ran across the street to Harrison Elementary School, returning with more teachers ready to help.

“We had to hurry up and work fast,” Forgach said. “People were just pulling on the gate and finally we got it off its hinges.”

She says the women were finally free.

We were wondering how often good samaritans help during house fires. Firefighters told CBS13 it’s actually not uncommon. They don’t recommend civilians run into the flames but some will direct victims out of danger by yelling or help firefighters move hoses. Helping is what Forgach and her staff do best.

“We are here for the students and community and when emergencies like this happen we’re here,” Forgach said.

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She said case managers from Stockton Unified are working closely with the affected family and their children to make sure they are taken care of while their home is unlivable.