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Burglar bars covering windows and doors are not an unfamiliar sight across Houston and can be effective in keeping intruders locked out of people’s homes.


However, for one woman, the bars kept her trapped inside, and she could not escape during a residential fire earlier this week.

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Fortunately, according to police, two of her neighbors on the scene came to her rescue in the 6100 block of Cavanaugh.

Shelly Tahan and Frank Broaden said they leapt into action when they realized the woman could not find keys to unlock the bars.

One of the neighbors reportedly use a set of crowbars to free the woman just in time.

“It’s mainly smoke, black smoke. It was really strong and starting to affect me, so I wanted to get her out before it got to me, and I wasn’t able to help her, so I really tried my best to hurry up, and do it in an ample amount of time. That way, she (could) get out and get treatment,” Broaden said in an interview Click2Houston.com. “She was in there for 15 minutes.”

Authorities said they sent the woman to Memorial Hermann for evaluation, but she returned back to her devastated, virtually destroyed home late Wednesday morning.

RELATED: A northwest Houston fire claimed a mother and left her son fighting for his life

While investigators are looking for signs of arson, the homeowner told the news station she thinks the fire started because of a heater connected to an extension cord.

If you would like to share information on this case, contact your local authorities or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

Anna Caplan contributes to Rare Houston and Rare Animals. 
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