An 11-year-old boy became a hero after walking into his burning apartment to save his 2-year-old sister in Maryland earlier this week.
A sparking exhaust in a bedroom sparked an electrical fire that broke out Tuesday in Salisbury, Maryland in a two-story apartment building, causing damage to at least two of the eight units.
Fortunately, there were no casualties or serious injuries, although 11-year-old La’Prentis Doughty had not been there.
According to WBOC, Doughty managed to free himself from the burning building before realizing his two-year-old sister Loyalty was still inside.
“If I hadn’t saved my sister I would have been mad at myself for saving her easily and I would have been mad at myself,” he said.
Doughty ran back into the building and came out again with the young girl.
Doughty suffered minor burns after the rescue, but injuries were very minor — he didn’t even require medical attention at the scene, according to a report from the state’s fire chief.
His mother, Keishauna Banks, told WBOC, “I feel bad because right now I don’t know how to reward him. I praise him and say, ‘Do you know you did a good job?’ But I’m still trying to process everything, I’m still in shock.”
According to an GoFundMe created by Banks, she was shopping for Thanksgiving dinner when her best friend called and told her the apartment was on fire.
She wrote that she was grateful “that my children are alive and breathing,” adding, “we are devastated and need help for clothes and shelter.”
The family is staying in a hotel and is receiving help from the American Red Cross, according to WBOC.
But despite it all, Doughty shared, “I feel good that my sister is alive today. I’m glad Thanksgiving is tomorrow.”
The State Fire Marshall reported that the fire caused about $250,000 in structural damage and $40,000 in personal property.
News Week contacted the Maryland State Fire Marshall for additional comment.
According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), there are about 51,000 electrical fires in the home each year. The ESFI advises homeowners to check their home’s electrical systems, electrical cords, extension cords and outlets for signs of buzzing, flickering lights or tripped circuit breakers.
A video showing how quickly a Christmas tree can catch fire was viewed millions of times last week and warned viewers that natural trees and electrical problems can sometimes turn into serious incidents.
An electrical fire broke out in Ohio last December, killing two 9-year-old twins and injuring six others.