Eleven-year-old La’Prentis Doughty was just a regular kid looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with his family. But on November 22, 2022, La’Prentis became an unexpected hero.
A fire broke out around 6 pm in their two-story apartment building in Salisbury, Maryland.
When La’Prentis realized what was happening, he quickly ran out of the building for safety. But only when he was out of the building did he realize that his two-year-old sister Loyalty was still inside.
With no regard for his own life, La’Prentis quickly ran back inside and went up to the second floor to rescue Loyalty. “If I didn’t save my sister, I would be mad at myself because I could’ve saved her easily. I could have saved her, and I would risk my life for my sister,” the brave big brother said.
Thankfully, the heroic eleven-year-old only sustained minor burns on his arm, which didn’t need medical attention at the scene. But the fire caused damage to two of the eight apartment units. Thanks to La’Prentis’ bravery and quick action, there were no significant injuries or casualties.
Their mother, Keishauna Banks, was doing some last-minute Thanksgiving shopping when she received a call from her best friend telling her that their house was burning. Keishauna is still in shock and trying to process everything that happened.
But she’s so thankful that her children are “alive and breathing,” and that La’Prentis had been around when the fire broke out. He did a really good job at getting his sister to safety. Because of his presence of mind and courage, no one got hurt.
Jake Day, Mayor of Salisbury, took the time to recognize the heroic eleven-year-old and said that he’s always looking for selfless people who are willing to lead and that he found one in La’Prentis Doughty.
Despite the devastating fire, La’Prentis is happy that everyone is okay. He even mentioned that day he was still looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal reported that the fire was caused by a sparked outlet in one of the bedrooms. Firefighters quickly responded to the scene, and it was declared fire out in just 10 minutes.
But as a result of the fire, two apartment units are uninhabitable. The estimated cause of structural damages is $250,000, and another $40,000 in damage to personal possessions.
La’Prentis’s family is staying in a hotel with the assistance of the American Red Cross. It’s a devastating loss, and they need clothing and shelter.
A GoFundMe account has been set up for donations to help the family get back on their feet. At this time of writing, the family has already received $14,390 in donations for the $25,000 goal.
According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International or ESFI, there are approximately 51,000 home electrical fires every year, with nearly 500 resulting in deaths, more than 1,400 in injuries, and $1.3 billion in property damage.
This is why the ESFI reminds everyone to check their electrical systems and outlets and be on the lookout for buzzing or sizzling sounds, dim or flickering lights, or tripped circuit breakers.
Install smoke detectors in every room and on every floor. More importantly, have an evacuation plan in case of an emergency, and make sure that all family members know it by heart.
But sometimes, no matter how careful we are around the house, an accident can still happen, and a fire can still break out. Thus, ordinary people can become heroes. Just like this young man who saved his eight-year-old niece and this courageous mom who suffered severe burns rescuing her four children.
Watch the full story of La’Prentis Doughty’s act of courage in the video below: