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'My hero': 12-year-old Florida boy saves 4 siblings from burning house

"If he wasn't here, we would not be alive," Emilio Jackson said of his big brother, Justin, 12. WPMI-TV's Christian Jennings reports.

A 12-year-old boy risked his life to rescue his four younger siblings from a burning home near Pensacola, Fla.

Justin Jackson says he was watching over his three brothers and one sister when a fire broke out inside their home in Milton, Fla., on Sunday evening, NBC station WPMI-TV in Mobile, Ala., reported. His mom was working the night shift at a nursing home and his father had been away on business, according to local media reports.

“If he wasn’t here, we would not be alive,” Justin's 9-year-old brother, Emilio Jackson, told WPMI-TV. "I love him all the way to the universe and back."


A storm knocked out power to the neighborhood and the children had used a few candles to light up the house, according to WPMI-TV.

Justin said he was awakened by thunder and lightning, and then saw smoke. He leaped into action, grabbing his three brothers, including Diego, 6, and William, 5, WPMI-TV reported.

"I just picked them up and took them outside and I was knocking on neighbor's doors but none of them came out," Jackson told WPMI-TV.

Jackson said he ran back into the fire and kicked down the door to get his 3-year-old sister, Brooklynn.

"I was worried that I was not going to get my little sister out of there," Justin told WPMI-TV. "I had to pick her up and she was real stiff, I was just real scared at that point." 

After saving his sister, Justin said he dashed back into the burning home a third time to call 911.

"Smoke was in my eye. I couldn't see anything," WPMI-TV quoted Justin as saying.  

Jackson's mother, Tiffanie Jackson, said she was working when she received a telephone call concerning her children.

"When I saw the flames I was, like my house is on fire, I didn't know what to do. My life is burning up. My babies were in that,"  the children's mother, Tiffanie Jackson, told WPMI-TV. "There aren't enough words to describe how proud I am of Justin. He's my hero."

Said Justin: "I was just helping my family."

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