NORTH HIGHLANDS (CBS13) — A man says he rushed inside a burning apartment Friday morning to make sure no one was inside.

The scene was at a row of townhouses along Hillsdale Boulevard.

Eddie Siguenza, a National Guard staff sergeant, was driving through the area when he saw the unit on fire. Firefighters had yet to arrive at the scene, so Siguenza jumped into action.

He got out of his vehicle, ran into the apartment, and went on his hands and knees calling out to anyone still inside. Fortunately, no one was inside.

“I opened the door and got on the floor and it was hot. I yelled in, ‘is there anybody here? Can you get out? Can you hear me?’ There was no answer. I backed up; some of the guys showed up; I asked them ‘is there anybody else in the other apartment?’ They said they were not sure. We checked and There was nobody there,” Siguenza said.

Firefighters soon got to the scene and found that the fire was burning out of both sides of the apartments.

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The fire completely destroyed the unit, firefighters say, but crews were able to keep the impacts to neighboring apartments minimal.

Exactly what started the fire is under investigation.

Siguenza says he knows firsthand what first responders are going through after helping Cal Fire on the frontlines.