When the firemen first arrived at the neighborhood in question, it all looked like a scene from hell. The fire was devouring everything it could reach. Big flames rose to the sky like towers of a devilish cathedral.
Quickly, the firemen went to work and got ready to do everything in their hands to mitigate the destruction. But suddenly, they saw something that made them feel like they were dreaming: a kid running into one of the burning houses without looking behind. What was that about?
This is one of those stories that can feel almost unreal when you read them. It’s hard to imagine most people doing what our protagonist did. Who of us could promise that they would have the same courage and strength of character in that situation?
However, there’s one factor that must be considered: our protagonist is only 7 years old. Children often show virtues and qualities that are hard to find in adults, and this story proves that.
The protagonist of this story is a kid named Eli Davidson. He lives with his parents, his brother, and his baby sister in New Tazewell, Tennessee.
He’s 7 years old. He’s been doing great in school and will start third grade this September. Although he’s a good student and enjoys spending time with his friends, he’d rather stay on vacation for a little longer. Who can blame him? After everything that’s happened to him recently, he can understandably use some rest.
It all started one summer night. For the Davidsons, it had been quite an uneventful and calm day. It was Sunday. They had gone to the park in the morning and spent the evening just chilling around the house.
Then dinnertime came, and the family ate in front of the TV, playing one of Eli’s favorite movies. After that, the two parents, Alice and James, kissed their kids goodnight and started getting things ready for the next week. Little did they know that all hell was about to break loose that night.
After they had prepared all their clothes for Monday, Alice and James went to bed. They fell asleep quickly. But around 2 am, something suddenly woke them up from their slumber.
It was a smell that the two of them recognized too well. As a matter of fact, it reminded them of their past, and it instantly put them in fight or flight mode. They remembered all the gruesome and scary times, the sweat and the anxiety.
Alice and James had been firefighters in the past, and they would have recognized that smell anytime and anywhere: it was the smell of a burning house.
Quickly, they got up and realized that a significant portion of their home was already being consumed by the flames! The black, suffocating smoke was filling the living room and escalating towards the bedrooms. There was no time to waste.
Immediately, they went to work, following the best practice in those cases: the first thing was to ensure that everyone in the house was safe.
They ran to their children’s rooms to wake them up, lift them up in their arms, and take them out of the burning house. They managed to pick up Eli and his brother Andrew. But soon, despair struck them like a blow: there was a problem.
None of the two parents could enter their baby girl’s room! The entrance was covered by flames, rising up and fuming menacingly. What could they do now? Maybe break inside through one of the windows?
The two parents left the house with their two boys and frantically started thinking of a solution. Soon enough, a despairing realization hit them, almost robbing them of all their hope.
And right then, Eli uttered some words that his parents will never forget. This is what the 7-year-old boy said:
“I got her, dad.” The parents doubted for a minute. Was it really sensible to let their kid get into the burning house? But what if the firemen were too late? Finally, they made a decision.
“Go on, son,” James said. Instantly, Eli climbed to the window and entered the burning house at the same time as the fire truck drove down the street and started opening its doors.
“Dad busted the window, and then said, ‘I can’t do it,’ like two times, and then I said, ‘I got her, dad.’ And when we went down there I said ‘I’m scared, but I want my sister to survive,” Eli recounts the episode.
There were a few seconds of tension. What would become of the two children now? Would everything have a happy ending, or would it be an irremediable tragedy?
Fortunately, it only lasted for a few seconds. Shortly after he jumped through the window, Eli could be seen again with her baby sister in his arms.
He handed her to his father and then climbed out the window, landing safe and sound on the grass. It seemed like the family was safe and their biggest worries could be over now. Or could they?
The firemen were too late to rescue the house from the flames. In a matter of minutes, the Davidsons’ house was nothing but a pile of ashes and burnt wood.
Only God knows what could have happened if the two parents weren’t former firefighters, and what’s more important if Eli hadn’t gathered the courage needed to rescue his sister from the fire. But what would become of the family now?
“We lost everything that we have ever had. Our entire lives were in that home. Our three cars were also damaged in the fire,” James told the media. “It’s devastating. We have nothing. You have never been as humble as you are when you don’t even have your own underwear to wear.”
But there was something they didn’t count on. Eventually, something would set them straight and make it easier for them to start anew.
Shortly after the incident, the family started a Gofundme campaign telling their story. Initially, they asked for nothing more than $5,000; just enough to make it possible for them to get back on their feet and rent a place to stay. But in just a few weeks, they managed to raise $340,000! They couldn’t believe it when they saw it. It was like Eli’s courage and devotion to his family were rewarded by the generosity of people who heard his story. This is one of those stories that can restore anyone’s faith in humanity!
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead are entirely coincidental.