'She is a hero,' 7-year-old receives award for saving family during fire in Phoenix

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Monibelle Townsend received a Citizen Lifesaving Award from the Phoenix Fire Department at her school. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Monibelle Townsend received a Citizen Lifesaving Award from the Phoenix Fire Department at her school. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Monibelle was awoken in the middle of the night after a fire swept through her apartment near Seventh Avenue and Hatcher Road. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Monibelle was awoken in the middle of the night after a fire swept through her apartment near Seventh Avenue and Hatcher Road. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Firefighter Tommy Reeve said the first-alarm fire ravaged the apartment complex but amazingly, Monibelle and her family were outside before crews even arrived. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Firefighter Tommy Reeve said the first-alarm fire ravaged the apartment complex but amazingly, Monibelle and her family were outside before crews even arrived. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A 7-year-old girl was recognized for her heroic actions, saving the lives of her grandmother and brother during a fire at a Phoenix apartment complex in April.

Just days after learning how to develop an emergency escape plan from Phoenix firefighters in school, 7-year-old Monibelle Townsend rescued her family from a raging fire on April 13.

Monibelle was awoken in the middle of the night after a fire swept through her apartment near Seventh Avenue and Hatcher Road.

"I smelled smoke and I heard the fire alarm went off so I got up, I went outside and saw the fire," said Monibelle.

Firefighter Tommy Reeve said the first-alarm fire ravaged the apartment complex but amazingly, Monibelle and her family were outside before crews even arrived.

"I woke up everyone in the house and I told them to go down to the door but my brother did not want to go," said Monibelle.

Monibelle's 6-year-old brother suffers from autism. Reeve said he would not have been able to figure out what to do so Monibelle helped save him and helped her grandma get out of the apartment as well.

Firefighters just days before were at Desert View Elementary teaching students what to do in case of a fire.

"We also brought our smoke detector trailer to teach the kids how to recognize the smoke detector and crawl under the smoke to get out of the house," said Reeve. "We do that with all the classes."

Monibelle was joined by her brother to share a special honor for her heroic actions.

She received a Citizen Lifesaving Award from the Phoenix Fire Department at her school.

"We want to present this lifesaving award to Monabelle for her efforts in this and doing such a great job and for doing what we told her to do," said Reeve during the presentation. "She is a hero."

It was a big day for a little girl full of courage.

"I feel happy that I won this award because it makes me feel and I didn't want my family to get hurt," said Monabelle.

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