11-year-old hero speaks out after saving little sister from Salisbury fire
SALISBURY, Md. – An 11-year-old is being called a hero this holiday season after he saved his two-year-old sister from a fire that destroyed their home Tuesday evening in Salisbury.
Keishuana Banks says the one thing she’s most thankful for this Thanksgiving Day is to have her children alive and by her side. She says she was out buying food in preparation for Thanksgiving when she learned that the second story of her apartment had gone up in flames.
“I am so grateful for my son because if it were not for my son, my daughter probably would’ve still been stuck up in the smoke because he said when he went back up the stairs to look for his sister, it was already black,” Banks explained to our Rob Petree, holding back tears at the thought of losing her children.
The fire was reported right around 6 p.m., in the apartment located at 1302 Jersey Road. At the home at the time of the fire was Bank’s 11-year-old son, Laprentis Doughty, who sprung into action to save his little sister, right where the fire was raging.
“I woke up and it was very hot,” Doughty said. “I heard a fire alarm and that’s how I woke up, and I was looking around and the door was creaked open and it blew open and then all the flames, I could see black smoke, and I saw fire.”
Doughty got out of bed and yelled down to warn his mother’s friend who was watching him and his sister.
“I ran downstairs and they tried to pour water on the flames but it didn’t work,” Doughty told our Rob Petree. “When I was at the last step, I realized I forgot my sister and I ran back upstairs to get her. I knew I had to save my sister because I heard her crying when I went downstairs. If I left my sister, I couldn’t live with myself leaving my sister in the house when I got out the house.”
Firefighters were able to control the blaze in roughly 10 minutes. State fire marshals determined that the fire began in a second floor bedroom and was caused by an unspecified electrical event at an outlet in the bedroom.
While saving his sister, Doughty suffered minor burns while making his second escape from the apartment. His injuries were so minor that he did not require medical attention at the scene.
Meanwhile, the family has lost everything and is in dire need of donations to start over, right in the middle of the holiday season. The entire ordeal has left Banks and her family traumatized.
“I feel like I’m living in a nightmare,” Banks said holding back tears. “I can’t even think straight right now. I feel like I need everything, but I want my children to be good, I want my children to be happy, and I don’t want them to remember this, so I have to stay strong on the outside but on the inside I’m dying forreal.”
Bank’s said the community has already went above and beyond to help her family, even going so far as to provide them with a new place to live following the tragedy, but there’s still so much more that they still need.
“We lost everything,” Banks said. “I’m thinking of the clothes we have to replace, so I’m going out buying clothes, but there’s a place for us, someone has a place for us, they opened up an apartment for us, and I’m so grateful to that person. After I told my son we’re going to be able to go to sleep peaceful tonight, I realized we got to get blinds, pots and pans, curtains, sheets, and it’s really like starting all the way from the bottom.”
A GoFundMe account has been set up to assist the family.
Total fire damage has been estimated at $290,000. No other injuries were reported. Of the eight units impacted, officials say two are uninhabitable due to the fire. Those occupants are being assisted by the American Red Cross.