CALDWELL - In the early morning hours on Halloween, a huge fire broke out at an apartment complex in Caldwell. Many of the families at the Parkview Apartments lost their homes that day.
But out of the ashes, came a hero.
After smelling smoke and seeing the flames, 12-year-old Omarion Wright ran door-to-door, waking up his neighbors, and saving lives in the process.
KTVB visited Omarion's school this past week to help recognize him for his heroic act.
"We're so proud of what you did and when we got the opportunity to be a part of recognizing you, we were all about it," Jefferson Middle School principal Meghan Wonderlich said to Omarion.
The morning of the fire, Omarion told us how it all unfolded.
"When I was getting ready, I smelled smoke and my grandma was asleep so I told my grandma that there was a fire," he said.
After quickly calling 911, Omarion ran from door to door, alerting his neighbors to the fire.
"He was beating on every single door, I mean, you could hear him just beating and beating and beating - and (yelling) 'get out of the house, get out of the house'" Omarion's grandma, Shawna Ward, said. "He saved nothing of his own, nothing."
"There were flames everywhere and everyone on the top floor could have been gone," Shawna added.
Omarion says it was a frightening ordeal, but he didn't let the fear overwhelm him.
"Got everyone out and then the fire started spreading. It was scary," Omarion said. "But I tried to stay as calm as I could."
That calm saved lives.
"In talking to the fireman and and some other people that were involved that's really what they said," Principal Wonderlich said. "They said it made a huge difference and it just seemed like something he naturally did."
Omarion isn't comfortable being called a hero. He said it's what anyone would do.
"I think it's just neighbor helping neighbor," he said.
And his neighbors are grateful.
"They just said thank you for letting us know, if it wasn't for you, then we wouldn't be here," he said.
His principal says she not at all surprised that Omarion would do something so selfless.
"He talked about his community and how he just felt like it was helping, it's just what you do," Wonderlich said. "Getting to see him in the spotlight is a really, really special thing."
Omarion and his grandma lost everything and are now living in a hotel.
"We're kinda stuck there and it's a little expensive," Shawna said. "We're just doing the best we can do, staying really positive."
But they have each other, and that's what counts.
"Gosh, I'm going to keep him, he's pretty awesome," she said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Omarion and Shawna get back on their feet. If you would like to help, click here.
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