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13-year-old boy saves family from burning home
By Crystal Price
EL PASO, Texas -- A 13-year-old boy from Socorro saved his family from a burning home earlier this month.
Dorian Mendoza, 13, climbed up on the roof and extinguished the fire before it could spread to rest of his family's home.
The fire had started from a grill on the patio outside where the embers had not been completely put out after the family had been grilling turkey legs earlier that evening.
The fire spread to the walls of the home and made its way to the roof.
"We were asleep in the bedroom and I started smelling smoke," said Sergio Mendoza. "We got up and checked and saw a cloud of smoke coming from the roof."
When Sergio and Dorian grabbed a ladder, they went on the roof to put the fire out, but Sergio slipped and fell of the roof.
"When he fell off the roof, I started to do it by myself," Dorian Mendoza said. "My fears went away and I didn't really care."
Dorian put the fire out just in time, as the fire had already ripped through the walls and damaged clothing and other belongings.
"Right now we have no clothes, no towels and no blankets," said Lucy Mendoza, Dorian's mother.
The Mendozas had been displaced for several weeks now and they spent the holidays in a hotel.
But thanks to a quick move by their son Dorian, they'll be back at home by the end of the week.
However, Dorian saved more than his familys home, he saved everyone inside too.
"I expected the worst, it probably would have burnt down the house," Sergio Mendoza said. "He saved our lives."
"It was brave on his part and I'm so proud of him and my husband, too," Lucy Mendoza said.
However, Dorian said a hero is the last thing he considers himself.
"I'm thankful for my parents because they're the ones that grew me up to become a man," Dorian Mendoza said. "They grew me up strong."
Below are some holiday grilling and cooking tips from the El Paso Fire Department.
Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove top so you can keep an eye on the food.
Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
Keep children at least 3 feet away from the stove.
Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
Keep the floor clean to avoid trips and falls.
Keep knives out of the reach of children.
Be sure electric cords are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
Keep matches and utility lighters out of reach of children - up high in a locket cabinet.
Never leave children alone in a room with a lit candle.
Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button