11-Year-Old Helps Rescue Senior Citizens from Fire

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A fifth-grade boy from West Philadelphia is being praised for sharp judgment and calm demeanor after his 911 call alerted fire crews to a blaze that had engulfed a senior facility.

Mahlon Graham was walking home from school with his younger sister when he heard a woman scream for help from the assisted-living facility.

“I told my little sister to go ahead and keep walking because she gets kind of emotional sometimes,” Graham told Philadelphia NBC affiliate WCAU. “And I called 911.”

Although he was scared, he said he didn’t want to show his fear.

“I wanted to stay cool and calm,” he said.

Within minutes of Graham’s cellphone call, fire crews were able to rescue all of the elders trapped inside the facility, according to WCAU.

Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers showed his appreciation by presenting the youngster with an official proclamation and surprise assembly at his elementary school

“He's hope for a generation. We're just elated about the job that he did,” Ayers said, according to NBC’s TheGrio.com.

Mahlon’s proud mother says he “knows how to weather the storm” and be a role model for his three sisters.

“He’s become a pro at being calm, cool and collected,” she said.