His grandmother Alicia told Action News the boy had been walking along the canal bank with his aunt, and two dogs.
The child followed the dogs to the edge of the canal, slipped on the soft dirt and fell in.
Laura Blaney lives next to the canal and heard the aunt's cries for help.
" A woman was screaming help, help, please God help. Screaming and screaming," Blaney said.
Blaney rushed out through her gate to the canal, and tells us she saw the child floating away in the swift current.
"When I got here he was prone, like this his legs were spread but luckily he was up, and he was right in the middle going down fast. He was bobbing under about ten times going under," Blaney said.
Blaney says she was about to jump in the water, when, a hero appeared.
"I was ready to dive in, my pajamas and all, I didn't care and some kid, nice kid, jumped this fence he ran and jumped in before me and grabbed him. I helped him up out of the water, and he laid the boy down gently, his eyes were staring wide open. He gave him mouth to mouth, pressed his tummy, the boys eyes opened and he started crying," Blaney said.
Fresno Police and fire units arrived within minutes. Fire Captain Michael Gill says all were relieved to find the boy was okay.
"Baby's doing fine he understands things I asked him to give me a high five, he did," Gill said.
Sammy was taken to Children's Hospital for evaluation. His grandmother told us he's doing fine.
The family, the fire department and those who witnessed the rescue credit the young man, who said his name was Miguel, who pulled the boy from the water, revived him, then disappeared.
Blaney told us: "Just thank God, a miracle happened. this kid jumped over, saved him, he's a hero, absolutely because out of nowhere he jumped the fence, dove in all wet and muddy ran away.
The Fresno Fire Department is hoping to find Miguel. They would like to give him an award for saving Sammy's life.