Four members of the J.J. Pearce High School Basketball team are being hailed heroes after helping a north Dallas family escape from their burning home early Saturday morning.
According to Dallas Fire-Rescue, the fire was caused by an electrical issue in the attic.
Three basketball players and the team’s manager were driving home together after Friday’s playoff victory against the Woodlands shortly after midnight when they saw smoke and decided to check it out.
“We could barely see because it was so foggy, and we rolled our windows down, and it smelled like a fire,” said junior Drew Timme.
The teens said it didn’t take long to find the house with smoke billowing from the roof. Junior Bryce Johnson called 911 while Timme and the other boys ran to help the family out.
“I went in there and grabbed the kid, and Bryce was… Bryce was up there with me too, because he was just getting the address from one of the kids who came out. Will went around back to make sure the dad was OK and get him,” said Timme.
The teens say the whole ordeal lasted only 10 or 15 minutes, but it’s a window of time they’ll never forget.
“It was just a natural instinct. That’s what other people would do for us as well,” said junior Bryce Johnson.
Johnson’s father, also coach to the rest of the boys, said he’s proud but not surprised they’d jump into action when the need arose. It’s a quality he works to instill in each of his players every day.
“To me it’s not necessarily about the big things, which are great, but it’s about the little things that you get the opportunity to do every day that that’s what these kids do. So it doesn’t surprise me at all when they see something like that and decide to help. That’s just who they are,” said Johnson.
As he watches his players back on the court just hours later, he hopes those tense moments taught them something else, too.
“Maybe how fragile life can be at times, how uncertain it can be. And we can’t always do things ourselves, we need help sometimes, and it’s ok to ask for help. It’s ok to receive help, and definitely if we have the opportunity to help someone we should help them,” said Johnson.
Neighbors of the family whose home was damaged say they all managed to get out safely after the fire.