A Maryland boy braved being injured or killed in an apartment fire to save his 2-year-old sister.
La’Prentis Doughty Jr.’s family lost all of their valuables in the blaze two days before Thanksgiving, but it could’ve been worse if the 11-year-old did not leap into action and show courage.
The state fire marshal said an unscathed La’Prentis ran out of his Salisbury, Maryland, apartment to safety right after discovering it was on fire. But when he realized his sister Loyalty was still upstairs, he immediately went back inside and rescued her from the second floor, burning his hand on the way out, officials said.
La’Prentis said he wouldn’t have been able to live with himself if he had left the toddler in the home.
“If I didn’t save my sister, I would be mad at myself because I could’ve saved her easily. I could have saved her, and I would risk my life for my sister,” he told reporters.
Maryland’s Office of the State Fire Marshal said the fire was caused by an “accidental-unspecified electrical event at an outlet in the bedroom.”
La’Prentis mother Keishauna Banks said she was on her way home from the grocery store stocking up on food for Thanksgiving dinner when she received a frantic call from her best friend about the blaze.
“We lost everything except for the clothes that we had on our backs,” Banks wrote on an online fundraiser.
Fire officials said two of the eight units in the two-story building are uninhabitable as a result of the Nov. 22 fire. The fire caused an estimated $250,000 in structural damage and another $40,000 in damage to its contents, the Office of the State Fire Marshal said. The families are being assisted by the American Red Cross.
Banks said she is grateful that both of her children survived the fire and were “alive and breathing.”
La’Prentis’ injuries from his second escape were so minor they did not require on-scene medical attention, officials said.
“I feel bad because I don’t know how to reward him right now,” Banks told reporters. “I praise him and say, ‘Do you know that you did a good job?’ But I’m still trying to process everything, I’m still in shock.”
The older brother said he feels “good that my sister’s alive today.”
Salisbury Mayor Jake Day plans to recognize the boy for his heroism.
“As a mayor, I’m always looking for citizens who are selfless, citizens who are willing to lead, and we’ve got one right here,” Day said.