Reporting Tony Lopez
NORTH HIGHLANDS (CBS13) – A middle school student applied the fire exit strategy he learned in the classroom to save his family from a house fire Thursday morning.
The 12-year-old saw the flames and sprang into action, getting his little brother, mom and family dog out of the home before calling 911 around 11:30 a.m.
Edgar Tapia says he doesn’t feel like a hero, but Sacramento Metro firefighters would strongly disagree after responding to the house fire in the 6200 block of Watt Avenue.
One look inside his family’s burned North Highlands home, and it’s clear what Edgar was up against.
As Edgar tried to calm his younger brother, he heard screams from his frantic mother as her hand burned from the stove top flames.
“I was thinking the whole house was gonna burn down,” 11-year-old Miguel Tapia said.
But the sounds of a crackling blaze ripping through the walls didn’t stop Miguel’s brother from acting quickly.
“So (the flames) went up to the roof, so the whole roof was on fire,” said Edgar.
“He saw my mom running, so he jumped off of the couch and went to call 911,” said Miguel.
The brothers say things got scary when parts of the ceiling started to cave in.
“I thought we were in trouble because I thought the whole ceiling was going to fall down,” said Edgar.
Fire crews say Edgar used training he received in the classroom, remembering EDITH as they call it, “Exit Drills In The Home.”
Edgar did just that, getting his family out and giving valuable information to first responders.
As for the title of hero, Edgar’s brother certainly thinks he is one.
This isn’t the first time Edgar saved family members from a dangerous situation. Last summer, he saved his little brother from drowning.