8-year-old boy hailed as hero in massive apartment fire - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

8-year-old boy hailed as hero in massive apartment fire

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Johnathan Bent Johnathan Bent
Source: Lawrenceburg Fire Department Source: Lawrenceburg Fire Department
LAWRENCEBURG, TN (WSMV) -

Several families lost almost everything after flames ripped through an apartment complex in Lawrenceburg. But police and firefighters responded quickly and everyone got out safely - all thanks, neighbors say, to an 8-year old boy.

Johnathan Bent has always loved watching movies where the hero saves the day. But the 8-year-old never dreamed he'd star in his own real-life drama where he played the hero.

The third-grader was sleeping at an elderly neighbor's home to keep an eye on her, as he'd often done, when her screams woke him up about 2 a.m. Wednesday.

"She said, 'Johnathan, Johnathan!' and said she dropped her cigarette," he said. "I seen fire, flames everywhere."

The woman had dropped her cigarette near her oxygen tube, sparking a fire.

"Then all this fire flamed up and hit the door," the boy said.

The only thing Johnathan knew to do was run to the kitchen, fill a couple of cups with water and throw it on the fire.

"So the heat wouldn't burn Ms. Hunt or catch her on fire," Johnathan said.

But when that didn't work, the 8-year-old ran through the building, banging on neighbors' doors, including his mom's, waking everyone up.

"At first I didn't answer, and then my son kept pounding on the door, and he said, 'Fire, fire!'" said his mother, Lynn Bent.

"This little kid is amazing. He actually really saved people's lives," said neighbor Sean Johnson.

Johnson, who lives just down the hall, grabbed his fire extinguisher and tried to douse the flames while another neighbor pulled the elderly women to safety.

"He's very open hearted. He cares about people," Lynn Bent said.

Ironically, Lynn Bent first told her son he couldn't stay with their neighbor Tuesday night, but now she's glad she gave in.

"I've never had a hero, but I do now," Lynn Bent said.

Medics took the elderly woman to an area hospital to be checked out for smoke inhalation.

In all, seven families were displaced, and the American Red Cross has put them up in a hotel for now.

Meanwhile, Johnathan turns 9 years old next week and said the only thing he wants for his birthday is an Xbox and a medal.

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