Boy, 10, rescues kids from fire at Orange County motel
10-year-old calls 911 to alert firefighters
OAKLAND, Fla. – Ten-year-old Isiah Francis was playing with his friend when he noticed trouble at a neighbor's home.
"I smelled something. So when I looked out the window I saw smoke," said Isiah, who knew several small children lived in mobile home located on the grounds of the Lake John's Motel on West Colonial Drive.
Isiah, who's always dreamed of becoming a firefighter, immediately ran out and offered to help his neighbor.
"He was trying to put out the fire so I went in to grab the kids," said Isiah.
As the children's father poured water on the fire, which investigators believe started on the kitchen stove, the 10-year-old put his fears aside and entered the home, where flames were spreading quickly.
"I was really scared because I thought I was going to get burned," said Isiah, who found two very young kids in a room that was already on fire. "I was nervous because there was so much smoke it was hard for me to see."
The 10-year-old said he put one child under each arm and carried them to safety. But he knew more children lived in the home.
"I came outside with the kids and then I asked the dad, 'Is there any more?' He said no," according to Isiah.
But Orange County firefighters said there were two more children still inside the burning building. After firefighters discovered them, the kids were taken to Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital. Their conditions have not been released.
Those firefighters were first alerted to the blaze by the 10-year-old, who said he learned how to call 911 from his teachers at Tildenville Elementary.
What does Isiah think would have happened if he had not taken quick action?
"They would have burned probably because the dad wasn't doing nothing but just standing there," he said.
The state fire marshal's office is investigating what the father may have been cooking on the stove when the fire broke out and why he may not have immediately gotten his children out of the burning home.
As for Isiah's dream of someday becoming a firefighter?
"I still want to be one," he said. "Even after they have to go through all this hard work, I still want to be one."
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