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