LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) – A 19-year-old who has only been with the D.C. Fire and EMS Department for a few months is being hailed as a hero after battling an intense house fire to save an elderly woman trapped in her room.

Senior Correspondent Mark Segraves reports that Amir Johnson graduated from the department’s academy in December, but on Sunday he didn’t hesitate to knock down a fire in a Northeast home and help a 84-year-old bedridden woman to safety.

Nellie Jones says she has lived in her home in the 4500 block of Blaine NE for more than 38 years and helped to raise three generations of children there. Her 8-year-old great-grandson ran through the house the morning of the blaze, warning people inside to get out.

He told firefighters when they arrived where his great-grandmother was in the home.

Johnson says when he got inside, the fire was so hot and the smoke was so thick that he could hardly see. He says he searched from room to room until finding Nellie in the last bedroom.

Johnson tells Segraves that his second large fire was “an eye-opening, humbling experience.”

Nellie’s son, Antonio Jones, visited the fire station Thursday to thank Johnson for saving his mother.

“Without his efforts, she wouldn’t have made it out of the house because the smoke was really intense,” Antonio said. “She needs assistance to get out of the bed, so it’s very important that somebody got to her.”

Nellie has been released from the hospital, but it will be some time before she can return home. Her son and grandsons are working to rebuild her home, Segraves reports.

WNEW Senior Correspondent Mark Segraves contributed to this report. Follow Mark and WNEW on Twitter.


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