HOUSTON, Texas — A nineteen-year-old man rushed in to the burning home of a complete stranger saving a 75-year-old man from certain death. The elderly man’s wife, unfortunately, died in the house fire.
Cedric Washington was driving to see his grandmother Monday night when he noticed a house that was fully involve in flames. With the help of others, Washington was able to get into the house through a garage door, the Houston Chronicle reported on Tuesday.
“He risked his life to save my father,” Michael Mitchell, the son of the elderly man, told reporters. “It’s a debt that can’t be repaid.” Mitchell’s mother, Helen Mitchell, 74, died in the blaze. Her son said she was one week from her 75th birthday.
Washington told the reporters he was on his way to see his grandmother when he observed the burning house located in the south side of Houston. People standing outside the home told him people were trapped inside the home. With the help of some of the bystanders, Washington was able to rip down the garage door and make his way into the home. Crawling on his stomach, he searched through the house. Only the light on his cell phone helped him penetrate the dense black smoke. He could feel the intense heat of the flames as he finally found the senior Mitchell lying on the floor. He grabbed the elderly man and carried him out of the house.
“I don’t feel like hero,” Washington told the Houston Chronicle.
Washington returned to the house later that evening after doctors treated him at a local hospital for smoke inhalation. He had learned that Mrs. Mitchell had died in the home so he returned to pay his respects. Neighbors recognized him and began to thank him for saving the life of the husband and father.
“He’s in the hospital battling for his life,” Michael Mitchell said of his father’s condition. He said that his father’s lungs had filled with smoke and ash.
The Mitchell family and Washington had never met, they both agreed. Mitchell said the 19-year-old’s actions were “unbelievable.
Houston Fire Department officials have not yet determined the cause of the blaze. Mitchell said he will board it up following the investigation and continue praying for his father’s recovery.
One other person was reportedly injured in the fire. It was not reported who that person was or their condition.
Like all heroes, Washington said he did not feel like a hero. “I did something my heart told me to do. I wasn’t worried about my life.” He also did something that the people standing around outside the home when he arrived would not do.