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'Amazing young man': Boy races to alert residents as fire spreads to their houses

Firefighters are crediting a 12-year-old boy with alerting residents of a fire that broke out in a building Saturday morning, causing an extra-alarm blaze in Chicago’s Canaryville neighborhood.

Firefighters were called around 10 a.m. to the 4400 block of South Union Avenue for reports of the fire, according to Fire Media. The fire began at one home on the block and spread to three neighboring homes, sparking fire officials to call a 3-11 alarm, Fire Media said.

See original report at NBCChicago.com

Officials said several residents of the buildings that caught fire were alerted and evacuated early in the blaze due to the efforts of a young boy who saw the flames and went through the building to alert residents.

"I just started screaming 'There's a fire,'" said Edwin Perez. "I was so, so scared."

Fire officials said no injuries were reported and credited the boy's efforts.

“This young man should be commended,” said Mark Nielsen, assistant deputy fire commissioner for the Chicago Fire Department."That’s an amazing young man.”

The fire took over an hour to put out and required 10 handlines and four master streams. At one point, an emergency evacuation of firefighters was called, but all personnel were accounted for in a roll call, Fire Media said.

Officials said the flames began on the back porch of one home on the block and spread to the neighboring 2.5-story homes, which were close in spacing.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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