Teenage lauded as hero for saving family from burning home - KMSP-TV

Teenage lauded as hero for saving family from burning home

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Drew Ridgley was headed his job early Wednesday when he spotted a house on fire. Drew Ridgley was headed his job early Wednesday when he spotted a house on fire.
DACULA, Ga. -

A teenager is being hailed as a hero for helping to save a family from a burning building in Dacula early Wednesday.

Drew Ridgley, 18, was headed his job at Walmart around 5:15 a.m. when he spotted a house on fire.

"I noticed that there is a house that is on fire. I get closer to it and I can see that the back of it is on fire," said Ridgley.

Amy Oates Ranel, an executive producer at FOX 5, had also stopped after seeing the blaze. Ridgley said that she got out of her car slightly ahead of him and called 911. Both of them ended up at the front door of the burning home.

"I was about to kick the door in when a man had appeared and opened up the door," Ridgley said.

Thanks to the efforts of Ridgley and Ranel, the Jones family – a father, mother and their two sons – managed to escape.

"I can't put into words how grateful I am to both of them," Kelly Jones said.

Ridgley said he is a student Georgia Gwinnett College and is studying to be a nurse because he says he likes to help people.

"This is one of the first lessons down the road to nursing school because you will have to help people," Ridgley said.

The experience deepened Drew's belief in fate. He left earlier than usual to stop for breakfast but ended up at the fire.

"That put me there a few minutes earlier, which helped save the family," Ridgley said.

Gwinnett Fire and Rescue said they credit both Ridgley and Ranel with helping the family get out safely.

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