On Nov. 22, Keishauna Banks went to the store to shop for her family’s Thanksgiving meal. Her two children, La’Prentis Doughty, 11, and Loyalty Doughty, 2, were at home at the family’s Salisbury, Maryland, apartment.
The smoke alarm went off, and La’Prentis quickly realized what was wrong. He ran out of the apartment to safety, but he then realized his little sister was still inside.
Risking his own safety, the boy charged back into the second-floor apartment, grabbed his sister, and brought her to safety, burning his arm in the process.
“If I didn’t save my sister, I would be mad at myself because I could’ve saved her easily,” the young hero said, according to WUSA. “I could have saved her, and I would risk my life for my sister.”
Thankfully, the burns La’Prentis sustained were minor, not even requiring treatment on scene, according to a report from the Office of the State Fire Marshall.
Around two dozen firefighters with the Salisbury Fire Department arrived and had the fire snuffed in 10 minutes, but not before it had done an estimated $290,000 in damages.
Banks has since set up a GoFundMe to help get their lives back on track, as they lost all their possessions except for the clothes they were wearing.
“I ask humbly for anyone that is able to help me and my children in our time of need,” Banks wrote on the fundraising page. “I also will pray and continue to pray to God to bless everyone who has a hand in helping us to bless each and every one with overflowing Blessings. Thank you for all of the prayers and Love.”
Although they lost their earthly possessions, the family has remained intact, thanks to the young hero.
“I feel bad because I don’t know how to reward him right now,” Banks said, according to WLBT. “I praise him and let him know, ‘Do you know you did a good job?’ But I’m still trying to process everything. I’m still in shock.”
Many others have found a way to let La’Prentis know just how special he is, and he has received much recognition and many awards over the past month for his selfless actions.
“As a mayor, I’m always looking for citizens who are selfless, citizens who are willing to lead, and we’ve got one right here,” Salisbury Major Jake Days said.
La’Prentis was awarded a PS5 from a local car dealership. The Watchmen with One Voice Ministerial Alliance gave him $1,000 and started a scholarship for him. The Superintendent of Schools recognized him with a special award.
“Superintendent of Schools Dr. Micah Stauffer presented Salisbury Middle student La’Prentis Doughty with a Golden Apple Award for his quick thinking and life-saving action in rescuing his 2-year-old sister from an apartment fire,” the North Salisbury School Facebook page shared.
“Joining SMS and the entire school system and community in being proud of La’Prentis are his three elementary schools, Beaver Run, West Salisbury and North Salisbury. This is one amazing young man who truly deserves to be honored!”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.