KENT — A 9-year-old boy is being called a hero after his quick response helped to save his neighbor’s dog in a house fire.
"I was right here sitting down and playing on the porch," said Brandon Waterson, 9, as he walked onto the front porch of his home. "I smelled something and saw smoke coming out of those two windows."
"So then I just called my mom, immediately. I got scared."
Sandra Waterson got the phone call at work on Friday and said she immediately instructed her son to call 911 and seek shelter at a neighbor's home across the street."
Waterson raced over to the neighbor's home and watched as firefighters arrived on scene.
"We forced the door open and saw a relatively small fire right inside the door," said Kent Fire Chief John Tosko.
Tosko said it appears a candle had fallen from a table inside the home, catching the floor on fire. He said the neighbor was at a doctor’s appointment but her dog, Chloe, was still inside.
"The house was filling with black smoke from the flooring, but if it wasn’t for his quick actions, the house could have had more damage, but the dog could’ve died," said Tosko.
"They got Chloe out safely and I was happy about that," said Brandon.
It wasn’t the first time Brandon or his family came face-to-face with house fire.
It’s just kinda weird because it happened at both my neighbors' houses," said Brandon.
About a year and half ago, the house on the left side of Waterson's home caught fire. It was a memory that was hard to forget – and something Sandra and first responders said helped Brandon leap into action.
The Kent Fire Department, Kent Police Department and emergency personnel gifted Brandon with a list of items including a "challenge coin" from the Kent Fire Department, a police badge and a gift card for ice cream.
"It’s a big deal," Kent Police Officer John Romanoski told Brandon. "You did a great job. I’m so proud of you."
Sandra said it was a humbling experience for the family and Brandon.
"It just makes me feel good," said Brandon. "Just saving their house and their dog makes me happy. That’s what makes happy. And being a hero."