A 5-year-old Chicago boy is being hailed as a hero after helping to save more than 10 people from a house fire in the city’s Back of the Yards neighborhood early Saturday morning.
The fire broke out just before 4 a.m. at the home in the 5000 block of South Marshfield Avenue.
According to authorities and eyewitnesses, just about everyone in the home was asleep, except for 5-year-old Jayden Espinosa.
“I just walked in there and seen the flames in there in the kitchen,” he said. “It made my bones hurt.”
While many young children would have frozen in fear, Espinosa jumped into action, climbing the stairs to the second floor of the home and alerting everyone about the fire.
“I wanted to go tell someone,” he said.
A total of 13 people were in the home when the blaze broke out, and none suffered injuries, according to authorities, and rescue workers are praising Jayden’s heroic deeds.
“Without Jayden, I don’t think we would have survived,” Nicole Peeples, Jayden’s aunt, said. “He said ‘auntie, auntie, there’s a fire. We need to get out.’ I never smelled any smoke and the fire alarms never went off. I’m so glad he was there.”
Even Rambo, a 30-year-old pet turtle, made it out alive from the blaze thanks to the kindergartner, who says he wants to be a firefighter when he grows up.
“What he did was courageous. I would hope that anyone would do the same thing,” Jayden’s father Kashmir Espinosa said.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Witnesses say the Red Cross is assisting those who were displaced by the fire.