Hero firefighter: 'I grabbed her ankles, and I just pulled her out'

TEHACHAPI, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) -- A woman remains hospitalized with severe burns, a day after a Kern County firefighter rescued her from her Tehachapi home.

Firefighter Paul Abarquez tore a hole in the woman's house with his bare hands when he heard screaming. The fire erupted around 6:30 a.m. Sunday at a home on the 21200 block of Mission Street.

"I just started grabbing, and I just ripped a piece off, and it just happened to be right where she was," Abarquez said Monday. "so, I looked in, I saw her feet, I grabbed her ankles, and I just pulled her out, and in one swoop she came out."

The woman, who is around 40-years-old, was taken by air ambulance to a burn center for treatment. Her name was withheld.

The fire department hasn't said what caused the fire.