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SACRAMENTO – Firefighters credited "heroic acts" of a young father for saving the lives of his five children as fire tore through their south Sacramento townhouse.

What may have started as a kitchen fire shortly after 1 a.m. quickly spread to the entire apartment at 46 Creeks Edge Way.

Neighbor Tyrone Thompson said he watched Deon Hill, 24, run out of the townhouse with three young children in his arms and a fourth child clutching his pants leg.

"I just remember him saying I have a baby in there," Thompson recalled.

Hill's cousin, Shawn Jones, said Hill went back into the burning building and crawled commando-style up the stairs to pull his 3-year-old daughter, Joy, from her bed.

The two emerged choking on smoke and both suffered minor burns, but Jones said both would be released from the hospital after overnight observation.

Jones said Hill was home with the children while his wife, Sierra, was away on an overnight shift as a home healthcare worker.

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