HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A grandfather is being called a hero after he braved an intense apartment fire to save the lives of his three young grandchildren.
The fire started just after 11 p.m. Sunday, in a two-story duplex at the corner of of Lila Street and Ralston Street in northeast Houston.
Flames were seen coming from the second floor of the building when firefighters arrived on the scene.
Firefighters initially told Eyewitness News it was the father at home with the children but, according to the children's mother, it was their grandfather. She was working at Denny's when the fire started.
Smoke coming from a back bedroom woke up the grandfather, who was asleep with the three children.
The mother says her father, 51, was able to get her 8-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son out of the apartment first. He ran back in to rescue the 1-year-old boy.
The children suffered minor smoke inhalation. They were taken to Memorial Hermann but have been released.
The grandfather was also treated for burns to his feet and hands.
The cause of the fire is not known. The mother says the family uses a space heater, though she believes last night it was not turned on.
The mother says they lost everything in the fire. They will be working with the Red Cross to find a place to stay.
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'Hero' grandfather pulls 3 children from burning northeast Houston apartment