Northport teen honored by city after rescuing 5 children from burning building


NORTHPORT, Ala. (WIAT) — People are calling a Northport teen a hero after he saved the lives of five children.

Justen Little, 19, rescued the kids from a burning apartment fire last March. Little said that he saw smoke coming from his neighbors apartment, and without thinking, the good samaritan ran into the burning apartment to rescue kids trapped inside. The brave teenager says he’s no hero. He says people needed help, so he decided to act.

“I didn’t know what to do, I had to kick the door in twice,” Little said. “The kids were standing in the hallway, and I yelled to them saying ‘Come on, come on’.”

The fire happened March 17 at Knoll Circle Apartments on 17th Street.  Northport Fire and Rescue was called to a fully-involved fire at the complex, but by the time firefighters arrived, Little had already saved the kids trapped inside.

Battalion Chief Ricky Mills says what Little did was brave and selfless.

“I think its very special,” Mills said. “It is very rare to see someone brave enough to see a problem like that and react and not worry about their personal safety.”

Because of the the teen’s quick actions, the City of Northport recognized Little.  At last week’s Council meeting, Mayor Bobby Herndon declared June 20th as Justin Little Day. The teenager told CBS42 News that he didn’t rescue the five kids for attention, he only wanted to save their lives.

“Because if anything would have happened to the kids I would have felt bad,” Little said. “So I had to step up and make the situation better then what it was.”

Little is going to college in the fall, and because of his heroic actions, the Northport Police Department is accepting donations on his behalf for dorm room supplies, and clothing.

Chief Mills says Little deserves a reward.

“That really says a lot about his character, and the fact that he acted without concern for himself to save human beings, in this case five children, is a remarkable thing and I think he deserves to be rewarded for that.”

WIAT has learned that Alabama Governor Robert Bentley could make a stop at Northport City Hall on Thursday to pay special tribute to Little.

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