A teenage crane driver braved raging flames to save 14 people trapped in an apartment building on fire in Fushun City, China early this morning.

A fire broke out at 6.30am local time in a small shop on the ground floor of a seven-storey apartment building.

The shop was empty and the fire quickly spread to upper floors.

Residents were awoken by the heavy smoke, but could not escape as the stairwells were filled with thick smoke.

Dong Xiuyun, a resident on the third floor, said she and her 12-year-old son tried to leave by the stairs, but their way was blocked.

"I tried to go through the door twice, but failed. I got very anxious. Then I thought we could get out from our window."

They called for help from their third-floor balcony, attracting the attention of crane driver Lan Junze, who was at work 300m metres away.

He drove his crane to the scene and hoisted a basket to the third floor.

"The flame was very, very close to them. My first thought was to get the mother and son down," he said.

After Dong and her son were safely out of the building, Lan moved the crane to the fourth floor, rescuing more residents.

While the rescue was ongoing, Lan’s father heard the news and rushed to the scene, standing alongside the crane to assist with directions.

Altogether, Lan saved 14 people in less than half an hour.

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