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Heroic Teen Saves 9-Year Old from Fire

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cbc.ca

A fire at a home in Brampton, Ontario sadly claimed the lives of three people earlier this week. However, thanks to the heroic actions of a neighbor, a 9-year old girl was able to escape the blaze with only minor injuries.

Sheldon Teague, 19, was awoken early Tuesday morning by the sound of screaming coming from the house above his basement apartment. He went outside to see the building engulfed in flames.

Teague describes thick smoke that made it impossible to see anything. “I kicked in the door and began yelling for whoever was inside to come towards my voice because it was too smoky for me to see,” he recalls.

He went back outside to grab a flashlight before he returned to the house and continued yelling for anyone inside to follow the sound of his voice.

Despite the lack of visibility, he managed to find the legs of 9-year old Zoya Kapadia, who lived in the house with her parents and her sister. “I had to get down on all fours, and that’s when I saw that there was someone in the middle of the hallway,” says Teague.

He then picked up Zoya and carried her outside away from the fire. A local newspaper courier took Zoya to his car to help keep her warm until paramedics arrived.

Meanwhile, Teague ran back into the house in hopes of saving the rest of Zoya’s family. “I was just thinking, ‘There’s someone in there, dying right before my eyes, and I’m not going to sit back and wait for them to stop screaming, I want to make sure I can at least try and help them.'”

Teague continued searching the house until firefighters arrived and took over. Unfortunately, Zoya’s parents and sister couldn’t be found in time. But Teague saving Zoya is a silver lining on such a dark cloud.

Zoya spent the night in the hospital, where she was treated for third-degree burns. She was released the following morning, according to a friend of the family.

Teague admits to still being “shaken up” by the experience, and regrets that he wasn’t able to get everyone out of the house, describing the situation as “impossible” due to the thick smoke.

To many, his actions to save Zoya make Teague a hero. But the humble teenager doesn’t see himself that way, believing that anyone in his position would have done the same thing.

“It doesn’t take a hero to rescue someone,” Teague says. “It just takes a person doing the right thing in the right moment.”