SPRING, Texas — An 8-year-old boy was honored after he alertly notified authorities that his neighbor's house was on fire in the early-morning hours on New Year's Day.
Justin Clayton Jr. woke up his parents when he saw pine needles on the roof of his neighbor's house on fire. Authorities said they were ignited by firework debris.
The boy had his parents call 911 and fire crews were able to respond to Bob Schenck's house in less than five minutes.
When they arrived, the roof of Schneck's garage was fully engulfed in flames. They were able to put the fire out and save many of Schenck's treasured mementos, according to authorities. Schenck is a Navy veteran.
“I was watching a movie, and then I saw some orange lights near my left bedroom window. And then I looked out the window, and I saw my neighbors house on fire. And I alerted my parents," Justin said.
On Tuesday, Justin was honored by the Greater Harris County 9-1-1 Emergency Network (GHC 9-1-1), Texas Emergency Communications Center, Harris County Commissioner Jack Cagle, Schenck and Spring Fire Chief Scott Seifert for his exemplary actions.
Justin is a third-grader and he's now heralded as a hero. When he arrived at the ceremony, he had no idea what surprise was in store.
Schneck was out of town when the fire broke out. He expressed gratitude for Justin and his parents.
“I don’t have to replace as much as I thought I was going to have to. I can’t say anything else except thank you," Schenck said.
Justin was given kid firefighter gear to go along with a Bravery Award, a 911 Kid Hero Award and a proclamation for an act of bravery worthy of recognition.
Firefighters say this is another reminder of the importance of a clean roof.