Illinois 12-year-old helps family and neighbors escape fire

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A 12-year-old Illinois boy is hailed a hero who helped his neighbors escape a fire.

“I was screaming, ‘People, wake up, there’s a big fire!’ said Edwin Perez.

The fire was reported at about 10 a.m. Saturday, July 13, 2013 on South Union in the Canaryville neighborhood of Chicago.

Edwin says he was getting milk for his two-year-old brother when he saw fire in his kitchen.  He immediately sprang into action, gathering up his little brother and sister and waking everyone in his home and helping them get out.

He notified people in neighboring homes as well, banging on doors and telling neighbors about the fire.

Firefighters said the fire spread quickly because the homes are so close together.  Initial reports indicated the fire may have started on the porch of the home where Edwin lives.

Four homes were damaged in the fire.

Firefighters presented Edwin with a medal at the scene of the fire.