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BEDFORD As flames tore through a Bedford apartment about 2 o'clock Wednesday afternoon, 13-year-old Haley Bowie was asleep inside.

Ashton Stewart didn't know that.

I was working on my car over there and heard something snapping and crackling, Stewart said. Sounded like fire. I looked over and that whole balcony in the background was ablaze.

Stewart called 911, raced up the stairs, and kicked in the door.

Got the girl out. She said her brother was still in there after I got her out, Stewart said. Ran back in. About choked half to death.

He said the flames were over his head when he went back into the apartment.

Basically crouched down, took a knee. Ran that way, checked every room. Checked beneath the bed. Got the heck out of there, Stewart said.

It turned out the boy was not in the apartment, but it appears Stewart saved Haley from injury at the very least; she escaped without a scratch.

Officials said the fire was big enough to damage eight units at the Shenandoah Apartments. Colleyville, Euless and Grapevine fire departments assisted Bedford.

Add Ashton Stewart to that list. I coughed and hacked a little bit, but it's all good, he said, adding that anyone else would have done the same thing he did.

After the fire was out, Stewart went back to working on his car.

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

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