A young boy who alerted neighbors to a fast moving fire at a Lawrence County apartment complex last week was recognized at his school Wednesday by local officials.
During a surprise ceremony at Ingram Sowell Elementary, Johnathan Bent, a third grader, was honored by a group of city, county, state and school leaders for his bravery.
“He made good choices and saved lives that night,” Principal Randy Kersey told Nashville's News 2.
Bent was sleeping when the fire broke out in the apartment. The eight-year-old sprang into action and went door-to-door warning residents.
Five people, including three children, were trapped in the burning building and had to be rescued by firefighters.
A camera mounted on a firefighter's helmet captured the dramatic rescue as two children were dropped to emergency personnel from a second story balcony.
Wednesday's ceremony was particularly special because it took place on the young hero's ninth birthday.
Six-hundred students and teachers all sang “Happy Birthday” to the boy who was surprised with a new bicycle.
A representative from Walmart also awarded Bent a new Xbox 360.
“I feel real great cause I just feel like a hero,” said Bent.
His mother, Brandy Bent, told Nashville's News 2 she was proud of her son, but not surprised by his actions.
“He always puts others first,” she said.
The boy told Nashville's News 2 he knew what to do in a fire because he learned about it at school.
- Sept. 24, 2013: Boy warns of fire; 2 kids rescued, dropped from balcony