Spring Valley man hailed as hero for saving baby during apartment building fire

A Spring Valley man was praised for saving an 8-month-old baby during a fire Saturday afternoon at an apartment building.
The call came in just after 2:30 p.m. that a fire broke out in the kitchen of a second-floor apartment on West Eckerson Road.
As residents braved the heavy smoke and got out using the fire escape, resident Jean Donald Mathieu was just returning home from work. But what he saw then, made him spring into action.
Mathieu said he saw the 8-month-old girl upstairs with her mother and a possible second person. He said he did not hesitate and went to save her.
Mathieu climbed a tree to get over the metal fence and ran straight toward the smoking building. He climbed a narrow fire escape ladder to the third floor and snatched the baby named Isabella out of harm's way.
Isabella's mother, Katia Locrete Pierre-Louis, said she is forever thankful for Mathieu's heroic efforts.
Syndia Preval was at work when she received the call, that the fire had also damaged her apartment.
Preval said Mathieu was the one who called her to explained what happened.
It was not immediately clear as of Saturday night what caused the fire.