The Bartow County Fire Department in Georgia responded to a house fire on Sunday – and when they arrived, they realized another hero had already helped save the family living there. It was 5-year-old Noah Woods, who got his sister and dog out of the burning home by himself before getting more help to rescue the rest of his family.
"Normally our firefighters are being recognized... but we're here today to recognize one of our local heroes," Bartow County Fire Department Chief Dwayne Jamison said during an event to honor Noah on Friday.
The fire started in his sister's bedroom, Jamison said. "The only way out was through a window. So, Noah quickly got to the window, he was able to get his 2-year-old sister out, got his dog out, got himself out," he said. Noah then went to get his uncle next door, who helped alert the other sleeping family members in the burning house.
According to the post on the department's Facebook page, Noah helped get a total of seven family members out of the house. He and four other family members were treated for minor burns and smoke inhalation.
"Noah's brave actions saved the lives of the family that day, so we want to recognize him today," Jamison said. Noah actually has a family connection to the Bartow County Fire Department – his dad's cousin is a firefighter there.
"This kid right here is so warm-hearted," his cousin said at the press conference. "I'm honored, I'm privileged just to be part of this family and recognize Noah today."
"I've heard heroes come in all shapes in sizes. He showed me this week, age is a part of it too. Knowing a 5-year-old can go out and save his whole family is an eye-opener to me," he said.
At the press conference, the fire department took time to not only honor Noah, but also to highlight their fire education programs in local schools, which can give people the knowledge they need to handle fire situations the way Noah did.
After the firefighters spoke, Noah was presented with his very own badge and helmet, making him an official part of the family.
"When we train these firefighters, we oftentimes work our whole career without doing a truly life-saving intervention like Noah did," the chief said. "What Noah had done is what we strive our whole career to possibly have the opportunity to [do], make an intervention to save a life during a house fire."
Because Noah accomplished something some trained firefighters don't even get to do, the department also gave him a "life-saving" award. His family was also invited to the state capital, where he will be recognized in the State Senate, officials said.
Until then, Noah got to sit in the front seat of a firetruck for a celebratory ride on Friday.
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