“He saved their lives. He happened to be walking by the house, discovered the fire and got the family out. He is without a doubt the hero of the day,” Finn Belle from the Oslo Police told Norwegian newspaper VG.
Tobias Andersson broke in through the balcony door and crawled underneath the smoke into the apartment. He was able to alert the fire department after he had rescued the family and before being taken to hospital.
"I just did what I learned in school," Andersson told newspaper Dagbladet.
The fire alarm does not seem to have worked and the family were all asleep when the Swede made his way into the apartment. The smoke developed rapidly and the 35-year-old mother and her children, aged 13, 6 and 3, were taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.
“It was pretty dramatic. If he had not gotten into the apartment, the family would not be alive now,” said Finn Belle.
None of them were seriously harmed, according to VG.
The fire originated in the kitchen, but the cause is not yet known.