South Jersey Boy, 8, Saves His Family During House Fire - NBC 10 Philadelphia

South Jersey Boy, 8, Saves His Family During House Fire

The 1st grade student jumped into action and alerted his family when their home caught on fire late Friday night.

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    An 8-year-old New Jersey boy was honored at his school after he alerted his family of a fire in his bedroom, saving everyone in the house, including their dog. Kane O'Connor was asleep when he said he was awoken by flames and smoke. The first grader jumped into action and was able to save his family.

    (Published Thursday, April 13, 2017)

    An 8-year-old boy is being hailed a hero after he saved his family from a house fire in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey.

    "If it wasn't for him I don't think none of us would be alive," Vanessa Indart said.

    Indart's son, Kane O'Connor, was sleeping in their home late Friday night when he was awoken by flames and smoke in his bedroom.

    "I couldn't breathe and I felt the fire hitting my head," O'Connor said.

    O'Connor jumped into action and ran to wake up the rest of his family.

    "My son came into the room and said, 'Dad, the house is on fire,'" O'Connor's stepfather Jesse Vanderpoel said.

    O'Connor, his parents, his 4-year-old sister and the family dog all managed to escape unharmed.

    "He told me, he's like, 'Mom, I don't know what happened but I woke up and I told myself I had to be brave and I jumped off the bed and my body knew exactly what to do,'" Indart said.

    Officials say the fire's been ruled an accident. The family believes a space heater in O'Connor's bedroom started the blaze. They are currently staying with relatives and a GoFundMe page has been set up to help replace their belongings lost in the fire. 

    O'Connor, who has autism, is a 1st grade student at Slaybaugh Primary School in Egg Harbor Township. The word of the month at the school is currently "courage," something that the young boy displayed in order to save his family.

    "Being that he's a little different than others, I find it very heroic and very special and I'm very blessed to have him," Indart said.

    O'Connor will be honored Thursday for his heroism during a ceremony at his school.

    "I'm just so proud of him," Kristi Frick, O'Connor's guidance counselor said. "I want him to know what an act he did was so brave. Even for an adult."