Fairuz Jane Schlecht

Flames broke out on the first floor of a two-story, Newport Beach, California, apartment on Dec. 20, 2022. Three children, ages 9, 6, and 5, were inside a bedroom on the second-floor as flames grew and spread to the second floor. Car designer Fairuz Jane Schlecht, 51, who lived in a neighboring apartment, had already escaped the burning building when she learned that the three children were still inside. Despite wearing little clothing, Schlecht ran up a stairway to her apartment where she accessed the neighboring apartment through a set of service doors. She ran down a hallway filled with swirling smoke and loud, high-pitched noises inside. She kicked in the children’s bedroom door and gathered the children. Schlecht ran back down the hall and pushed the older girl through the service doors to her apartment. The younger girl ran into the flame-filled primary bedroom, and Schlecht entered the room after her as she held onto the boy. The girl ran back to her, and Schlecht exited with the children through her apartment. The youngest children recovered after inhaling smoke. The 9-year-old girl suffered reduced oxygen levels and minor burns to her feet but recovered. Schlecht inhaled smoke and suffered a loss of hearing in her right ear but was not burned.