A little boy is being hailed as a hero for saving 13 people from a fire that had broken out in their Chicago home after the smoke detectors malfunctioned.
Though he is only 5-years-old, Jayden Espinosa knew exactly what to do when a fire broke out early Saturday morning in his aunt’s South Marshfield/Back of the Yards duplex, Fox 32 News reports.
“I smelled the smoke and I got up and went outside,” Jayden recalled to the local outlet of the terrifying incident over the weekend. “Auntie’s house was burning … I was scared!”
It was about 4 a.m. when the fire suddenly broke out in the residence located on the 5000 block of South Marshfield, according to Fox 32 News.
At the time, everyone in his aunt’s duplex was sleeping, including Jayden’s two sisters.
Jayden, however, had woken up after smelling smoke in the home. Sensing that something was wrong, the kindergartener ran to wake up his aunt and family members and alerted them of the situation.
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He then hurried downstairs, knowing that the neighbors below him were still sleeping, and notified them of the fire as well.
When asked how he knew what to do in the situation, Jayden was quick to respond, “Because I’m smart and brilliant.”
“I got everyone out of that house because I was trying to save them,” Jayden added to Fox 32 News of his heroic actions.
His mother, Tracey Espinosa, also explained that her son being in the right place at the right time was divine fate.
“[Jayden] said that God has a plan … Everything will be okay,” she recalled to Fox 32 News. “He saved everyone. If he hadn’t got sent to his Auntie’s house Wednesday, then he would’ve never been there to get everybody out of the building.”
In the days following the devastating fire, the American Red Cross has stepped in to assist Jayden’s aunt and cousins, while a GoFundMe fundraiser has also been set up to help the family “get back on their feet,” according to the outlet.
As of Monday, the cause of the fire still remains under investigation by local authorities.