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A seven-year-old was the difference between life and death for his 22-month-old baby sister when he jumped into his burning home to save her.

A terrible wake-up call

On December 8, Nichole Davidson woke up in terror as her house in New Tazewell, Tennessee was burning down. She and her husband leaped into action.

“(Chris) grabbed the fire extinguisher trying to buy me time to get the kids, and I grabbed the boys because they were closest to the fire,” Nichole Davidson told WVLT.

But flames in the living room prevented the Davidsons from reaching their toddler’s bedroom.

A heroic rescue

While outside, Chris Davidson smashed open his daughter’s window, but couldn’t haul himself up. He knew that there were mere seconds before the burning house would collapse on his baby daughter.

He looked over to his seven-year-old son Eli, who had been fostered by the family for nearly a year.

“Dad busted the window and then I said, ‘I can’t do it,’ like two times, and then I said, ‘I got her dad’,” Eli said.

“And when we went down there I said I was scared but I didn’t want my sister to die.”

Eli

Chris hoisted Eli up and the boy managed to quickly take his sister to safety.

Chris said the whole family was extremely appreciative of Eli.

“We couldn’t be more proud of Eli,” he told CNN. “He did something a grown man wouldn’t do.”

Starting ‘from scratch’

While the Davidsons managed to get to safety, by the time firefighters arrived the house was completely totaled.

“We lost everything that we have ever had,” Chris Davidson said. “Our entire lives were in that home. Our three cars were also damaged in the fire.”

“It’s devastating. We have nothing,” he added. “You have never been as humble as you are when you don’t even have your own underwear to wear.”

Now, they’re starting “from scratch,” but they won’t be doing it alone.

A GoFundMe was launched to support the family with a goal of $5,000. So far, $352,740 has been raised and that’s not a typo.

A true hero

Eli could have said ‘no’. He could have been the one killed in the fire and in retrospect, his father would feel awful if he lost Eli too. But Eli turned out to be a true hero and his family will be forever grateful.

This is proof that heroism comes in all shapes and sizes. You never know when you’ll be tasked with a life-changing decision and if you set your intention properly, you can be the one to save the day, just like little Eli.

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