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Teen's Life-Saving Inventions Land Him Free Ride To College

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A family on Long Island won't have to worry about college tuition for their son. The boy has just won a coveted national award for innovation and invention.

Sandy Hyman told CBS 2's Jennifer McLogan that without winning this award there is no way that the family would have been able to afford their son Paul's $37,000-a-year tuition at Clarkson University.

"Quite honestly, without this, he would not have been able to go. It's not to be described, it's kind of a fairytale," she said.

Paul Hyman, a local volunteer firefighter, said he plans to run his fire-safety product company at Clarkson's Business "Incubator" while he studies for his undergraduate degree.

"They are going to be giving me an office, and access to rapid prototyping labs, and a lot of incredible resources," he said.

Paul Hyman developed his invention after becoming disoriented inside of smoke and flames while on the job. His solution was to create miniaturized infrared cameras that could be inserted into the masks of firefighters, to help them move in similar conditions.

Another one of Hyman's inventions detects lint inside of vents and lint traps and shuts off dryers before they catch on fire.

"As soon as it detects smoldering, it uses carbon dioxide to flush the whole system and put the fire out," he said.

Experts are enthusiastic about Hyman's work.

"I'm very interested in the products he's been inventing, and will be selling. Absolutely great," said Thomas McDonough, a former fire chief at Atlantic Hook and Ladder Company 1.

In exchange for mentoring and guidance, Hyman said he plans to give his college a 10-percent equity share of his business.

Several companies in the Midwest are already interested in Hyman's products.

do you have an idea for an invention? Let us hear about it in our comments section below...

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