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Mayor, guards help out after fire

Mayor John Street of Philadelphia. Mayor John Street of Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA -- The mayor and two of his bodyguards happened upon a house fire and ended up rescuing a cat, helping a victim, and warning neighbors, officials and witnesses said.

Neighbor Dorothy Young said she saw the smoke Friday morning and went outside to find two children who lived in the house crying at the bottom of her steps.

"We were all in shock, just yelling and crying," she said. "I couldn't believe what was happening. It was like a movie."

Mayor John Street and two bodyguards, who had been walking to City Hall when they saw the burning home, rushed over to help, Young said.

The bodyguards carried a boy who suffered minor burns into Young's home and went into the burning house to rescue a cat.

Street began banging on doors and urging people to leave their homes, said Stephanie Naidoff, the city's commerce director. He told her the story before leaving town for the weekend, she said.

Children playing with matches started the fire, and it was brought under control in a few minutes. There were no serious injuries.