A group of high school basketball players are being praised for their bravery after helping a Texas family escape from a fire that had engulfed their house. The members of the J.J. Pearce High School basketball team were hailed as heroes following their daring effort to help a Texas North Dallas family.
The three basketball players and team manager were traveling home together after a playoff victory late last Friday night when they spotted smoke and immediately headed to the scene.
“The whole road was covered in smoke, you could barely see what was in front of me, we knew something was bad and we could kind of see orange flickering from what looked like the house,” high school junior Drew Timme told KDFW-TV.
“We could barely see because it was so foggy, and we rolled our windows down, and it smelled like a fire,” Timme told another local station, KXAS-TV.
The players found the house and were confronted with a terrifying scene—smoke billowing from the roof.
Junior Bryce Johnson dialed 911, while Timme and the other boys dived into harm’s way to help the stricken family.
“I just banged on the door and I guess I woke the mom up and grabbed one of the kids out of there, because he was kind of close to the entrance,” Timme told KDFW. “I just grabbed him and said ‘is anyone else in the house?’ and I just started yelling inside.”
“Bryce was up there with me too, because he was just getting the address from one of the kids who came out,” Timme told KXAS. He added that another teammate named Will “went around back to make sure the dad was OK and get him.”
In 10 to 15 minutes, the boys had managed to rescue the entire family. They say it is an experience they will never, ever forget.
“It was just a natural instinct. That’s what other people would do for us as well,” Bryce Johnson told KXAS.
Johnson’s father, who is also the team’s coach, said he was incredibly proud of the boys, but not surprised—these are the values that he instils in them on a daily basis at practice.
“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,” Coach Johnson told KXAS. “So it doesn’t surprise me at all when they see something like that and decide to help. That’s just who they are.”
The coach also hopes that the incident reminded his players how fragile life really is, and that we are always a moment away from desperately needing each other’s help.
“We can’t always do things ourselves, we need help sometimes, and it’s OK to ask for help,” he said. “It’s OK to receive help, and definitely if we have the opportunity to help someone we should help them.”
Following Friday’s blaze, Dallas Fire-Rescue confirmed that the couple inside, their two sons and pets were all able to get out safely due to the assistance they received from the heroic students.
“I think they’re heroes, and I think they’re amazing, and we’re very grateful for them for being brave for doing the right thing, for being responsible young men,” neighbor Jillian Britton told KDFW. “Very proud of them.”