Officials honored an eight-year-old Texas boy on Tuesday for quickly alerting his parents that their neighbor’s home was on fire in the early morning of New Year’s Day.
Around 2:30 a.m. on January 1, Justin Clayton Jr. of Spring, Texas, noticed flames on his neighbor Bob Schenck’s roof, KHOU reports.
“I was watching a movie, and then I saw some orange lights near my left bedroom window. And then I looked out the window, and I saw my neighbors house on fire. And I alerted my parents,” Justin told KHOU.
Schenck, a Navy veteran, was out of town when a firework landed on his garage roof and started the blaze, authorities said.
The eight-year-old’s parents called 911, and crews with the Spring Fire Department arrived at the scene within five minutes. The roof was totally engulfed in flames by the time firefighters got to the scene, KHOU reports. Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze, saving many of Schenck’s treasured possessions.
On Tuesday, Justin visited the Spring fire Department and was surprised with a ceremony recognizing his quick-thinking actions.
The Texas Emergency Communication Center, Greater Harris County 9-1-1 Emergency Network, Spring County Fire Chief Scott Seifert, Harris County Commissioner Jack Cagle, and Schenck honored the youngster during the ceremony.
Justin received a 911 Kid Hero Award, a Bravery Award, a proclamation for an act of bravery worthy of recognition, and children’s firefighter gear, according to KHOU.
Among the gear was a volunteer firefighter recruit shirt.
“10 years from now when you’re 18, I expect you to come back and put that T-shirt on, fill out an application and join our team to help us do what we do,” Seifert said, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Justin also got an up-close look at the firetrucks and some of the tools firefighters use on the job.
“If everyone did what Justin did that morning, there would probably be a lot less damage to some of the houses that are on fire out there,” Seifert said, per the Houston Chronicle.
Schenck thanked Justin for helping to save his home.
“Due to this young man, it’s not as bad as it looks,” Schenck said. “I appreciate everything he did.”
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