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Published March 29, 2012, 06:12 PM

Man credited with saving roommate in Fargo twin home fire

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Five people are lucky to be alive after an early morning fire in South Fargo. It happened at 141 Prariewood Drive just after 4 this morning. Firefighters arrived to heavy smoke and flames. The entire top floor of one unit was fully engulfed.

Five people are lucky to be alive after an early morning fire in South Fargo. It happened at 141 Prariewood Drive just after 4 this morning. Firefighters arrived to heavy smoke and flames. The entire top floor of one unit was fully engulfed.

Fire officials say besides a few belongings, their apartment is a total loss. The other unit has smoke and water damage. One of the residents is being credited with saving his roommates life.

Fire officials are saying it is close to a miracle everyone got out of the twin home safely with the extent of this fire. There were three people in one unit and two in the unit where the fire started.

Five people were out close to when the fire started, but one had to be rescued and it wasn't by firefighters.

Tamra Motschenbacher – Resident: “At about 3:30 in the morning, I could hear my neighbor Nick screaming.”

It was then Tamra Motschenbacher knew something was wrong. Not yet knowing the unit next door was engulfed in flames, she immediately ran outside.

Tamra Motschenbacher: “When I came outside he was already outside of the window, like you can see over there, outside the window screaming for his roommate.”

After she saw this she ran inside and grabbed her own two children. Once she was outside she experienced an act of heroism.

Tamra Motschenbacher: “He jumped, I mean he just, you know your adrenaline kicks in and you become the person you are and he went in and got his roommate.”

Jagger jumped from this two story window to escape the burning home, he then realized his roommate steve was still inside the home, so he ran back up these stairs and came out with his roommate.

Although neighbors and community members view Nick Jagger as a hero, fire officials say it's never safe to run back inside a burning building.

Gary Lorenz – Fargo Assistant Fire Chief: “He could have encountered heavy flames, he could of encountered heavy smoke, you know if the fire was in a smoldering state it could have got a blast of air it needed, he could of encountered a flash. There are numerous things he could of encountered.”

Assistant Fire Chief Gary Lorenz says that's what firefighters are trained to do, so they should always be the ones doing the rescuing.

Gary Lorenz: “Stay out and let us come and take care of it, because to go back into it those environments, the gases and those super-heated gases and the type of stuff that's in these, the smoke you can be overcome instantly.”

Dangerous or not, if it wasn't for one selfless roommate another one may not be alive.

Tamra Motschenbacher: “We live in a community where everybody helps and it truly showed, the heroes that we live around every day.”

Both Nick and Steve declined to go on camera because they say they're dealing with too much already. The cause of this fire is still under investigation.

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