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11-year-old alerts grandfather to save woman from apartment fire

A sixth-grader riding his hoverboard Tuesday evening never thought he would be called a hero
11-year-old Antoine Rivers and his grandfather Marion Shepherd
11-year-old Antoine Rivers and his grandfather Marion Shepherd(Lowell Rose)
Published: Dec. 30, 2021 at 5:46 PM CST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - An 11-year-old and his grandfather are hailed as heroes after saving a wheelchair-bound woman from her burning apartment.

A sixth-grader riding his hoverboard Tuesday evening never thought he would be called a hero.

“I was riding my hoverboard and my friend came,” 11-year-old Antoine Rivers said. “I saw smoke coming out of his house, and I didn’t know what was going on. I thought he burnt a piece of toast or something, and then when he banged on my other friend’s door, he was like, please help, my house is on fire.

Related: Alert sixth-grader, neighbors rescue elderly person from apartment fire in northwest Charlotte

Rivers rushed to his grandfather for help.

Marion Shepherd, Rivers’ grandfather recounts hearing his grandson’s friend yelling for help.

“I heard him banging on the door saying, ‘help, help, my apartments on fire, I need help getting my mother out’ Shepherd said. “His mother’s bedridden.”

Shepherd sprang into action to help, and he wasn’t alone.

“A lot of people were trying to go in there but one of them were coughing a lot and he had to come out,” said Rivers.

Darius McVay captured video that was posted by Charlotte Fire Department on twitter of the smoke and flames people battled to save the woman inside the burning apartment.

“I got on my hands and knees and crawled on the floor to get under the smoke, crawl to the mother’s bedroom. She was in her bed,” said Shepherd.

Thankfully, Shepherd and neighbors were able to get the lady in her wheelchair and push her out of the burning apartment.

“We got them out before the fire department came here, but like right when we got them out, everybody was starting to show up,” said Rivers.

The sixth-grader told WBTV it was something anyone would do during an emergency.

“I was just scared of the fire, but I was just hoping that they were OK,” said Rivers.

His grandfather says they’ve been through hard times, but he’s happy his grandson could do something positive.

“He needed something positive, he’s been through a lot of hurt in his life,” said Shepherd.

“It makes me feel OK, makes me feel good. I did something for somebody,” Rivers added.

The Red Cross has stepped in to assist the family impacted by the fire with immediate funds to replace clothes, food, and a hotel.

The organization told WBTV it will reach out to the family impacted in the coming days to help the family with a recovery plan and connect them with community resources.

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