A Mansfield teenager ran into a burning house late Monday to rescue his 11-year-old neighbor.
Gabriel Vivoni, 17, had just returned home from swim practice at nearly 9:30 p.m. Monday when he noticed an orange glow coming from the open garage door of his neighbor's home in the 3200 block of Gleneagles Drive.
Vivoni said upon closer inspection he realized the orange glow was a fire, so he ran to the front door of the house to ring the doorbell and knock repeatedly.
When no one answered the door, Vivoni said he ran to his own home, called 911 to report the fire and told his own parents about the situation.
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Moments later the teen returned to the burning home to see that the flames had grown in the garage, and that a significant amount of smoke was now rolling out of the garage door.
So Vivoni said he made a split-second decision to run into the home through the burning garage, and immediately found a sleeping neighbor, 11, on the couch who appeared not to realize what was happening.
"Because the boy was like, 'Yo, what's going on?' And I was like, 'Hey man, there's a fire in your house right now. We got to get out of here!'" Vivoni said.
Vivoni said he helped the child, who was home alone at the time of the fire, out of the front door just as the boy's parents pulled up to the burning home.
Vivoni said he wasn't scared.
"I just wanted to help," Vivoni said. "I wanted to know who was in there, and if they were alright."
"It's not very common in this day and age for a young man of 17 years of age would feel compelled to act and do something like this," said Jeff Smith, assistant chief with the Mansfield Fire Department.
Smith said they recommend life-saving work be left to professionals and firefighter, but said they were thankful the young man was able to enter and exit the home safely with the 11-year-old.
No injuries were reported and the fire department is still investigating how the fire started.
The family is staying at a hotel while they figure out what to do next. Their church, Rush Creek in Arlington, is now accepting donations on their behalf.
NBC 5's Katy Blakey contributed to this report.