A Michigan teenager has been named a hero after he died on Sunday morning as he tried to save his family from a house fire.
Savion Robinson, a 14-year-old student at Belleville High School, helped get family members out of their Van Buren Township home as a fire tore through it at about 4am.
But when firefighters arrived at the tri-level home, Robinson was nowhere to be found and his body was later recovered.
Savion Robinson, 14, helped six of his family members out of their burning home in Van Buren Township, Michigan, on Sunday at about 4am
Neighbor Don Buckenberger, 52, told the Ann Arbor News that he woke up to Robinson’s nine-year-old sister knocking on his door at 4am.
‘Her one brother said “Go get help”,’ Buckenberger said. ‘Unfortunately he’s the one that didn’t make it.’
Seven family members, including five children between the ages of two month and 14 years old, were in the home when it caught on fire, Van Buren Township Director of Public Safety Greg Laurain said.
Five people were immediately taken to the hospital, while the six went later on. Robinson – the seventh family member in the home – died on scene.
Three of the children were in critical condition and a fourth was stable when they were taken to University of Michigan’s C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital.
An adult taken to University of Michigan Hospital was in stable condition.
Buckenberger said he called 911 and ran to his neighbor’s home with a flashlight as firefighters and police arrived at the home.
He said he could hear someone yelling for help in the home as a firefighter went into the blaze.
The firefighter came out of the house with a 18-month-old, who was severely burned.
Buckenberger believes that Robinson moved the child closer to the front door, but police have not confirmed the circumstances of the rescue.
The remaining members – other than Robinson – were able to escape on their own. A family dog also died in the fire.
One adult woman escaped the house by jumping out of an upper-level window with a baby in her arms, according to theDetroit News. The woman suffered a broken leg in the jump.
The fire was particularly difficult to put out because a gas main caught on fire, Deputy Director of Public Safety Jason Wright said.
‘We could have lost seven people,’ Wright told the Ann Arbor News. ‘It’s tragic.’
He added that neighbors from all over the block helped in the aftermath of the fire and that crews from Van Buren Township, Sumpter Township and Belleville battled the flames for several hours.
Officials are investigating the fire and the cause of the blaze is still undetermined.
Buckenberger said, however, that the 9-year-old, who is close with his granddaughter, told him that there had been candles lit in the house, but added that it is still early on in the investigation.
Robinson’s older sister, Marie Santangelo, who was not at home at the time of the fire was left devastated by the fire.
‘They were doing a remembrance for our other sister who just passed,’ she said. ‘This was supposed to be a happy moment.’
Santangelo, whose father called her from the hospital to tell her what happened, described Robinson as ‘awesome’.
‘He just went to homecoming and got all dressed up,’ she said, adding that he was ‘always cracking jokes’ and that he was a ‘sharp dresser’.
Santangelo told Click on Detroit that she considers Robinson a hero.
‘That’s just who he is,’ she said. ‘That’s my baby.’
Buckenberger said Robinson had a ‘heart of gold’, adding that the family had lived next door for about four years and the two families would carpool to school.
‘I’m still in shock,’ he said. ‘I can’t believe the poor little guy’s gone. I guess he’s a hero.’