This young boy was instructed not to enter his parents’ room without knocking first – but once noticing a blazing fire rapidly turning his family home into ash, something told him being told off should be the least of his concerns.
James was no ordinary boy. After being diagnosed as having autism, James had to learn behavioral norms and adjust himself according to what was instructed as acceptable. Despite his irregular condition, James knew it was up to him to wake his parents and escape the blazing home before it was too late.
The fire happened on a Saturday at a northwest Oklahoma City apartment complex near 50th and MacArthur.
Steffanie Sitton, James’s mother, told a news network how her autistic son was the only one awake when the fire started:
“All of the sudden James bursts into our bedroom. ‘Mom! Dad! The apartment’s on fire! The kitchen’s on fire. Get up! Get up! Get up!'”
Steffanie was particularly proud of James as she knew him to be less than perfect at handling intense, stressful situations. Steffanie, who is on breathing support and in a wheelchair, went on to brag about how courageous her son was as he wrangled up the dogs while her husband retrieved the guinea pigs.
Thanks to James and his quick thinking, the entire family managed to escape the flames and rescue their pets, too. The Sittons made it out just in time.
After being taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation, Steffanie said her son saved their family:
“James, thank you so much because you saved our lives yesterday and that is what a hero does and you’re one hell of a kid,” she told him. “I’m proud to be your mama. I love you so much and thank you.”
The heroic boy’s father, Benjamin, also made a note of how proud he was of his son:
“I just want to thank him for what he did and I just love you,” said Benjamin.