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Glendale third-grader honored for saving family from house fire

A 9-year-old girl was recognized and honored for her quick thinking that helped save her family from a house fire.
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 9:47 PM MST
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GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- A 9-year-old Glendale girl was honored on Wednesday for saving her brother and sisters from their burning home. “Rhae, you are a very courageous young girl who deserves to be recognized today as one of Glendale’s Fire Department’s ‘Little Heroes,’” said Matt Bender, a Glendale firefighter.

Rhae Parks is a third-grader who dreams of becoming a police officer, a job she says she could save lives. But the Glendale Fire Department she’s already a hero.

In February, a fire broke out at her family’s home in Glendale. “Woke up in the middle of the night to some banging and some popping. We could hear it from the garage. We actually thought it was someone breaking into the garage. We went around to the front to look out. We could see some kind of glow from the fire,” said Philip Parks, Rhae’s dad.

Her bedroom was directly over the flames, and she, too, heard the noises. “The burning. I thought somebody was lighting fireworks outside our house,” Rhae said. “I heard him screaming in his crib saying, ‘there are fireworks going off!’”

Rhae’s school has a program where a firefighter will come and teach tips every month to make sure they’re safe in case of an emergency. The Parks family says it’s thanks to that program that she knew what to do during this emergency. “First thing she did was see the flames, ran right to her brother’s room and snatched him out of bed, and brought him to us. Went and made sure then that our second youngest, Gretchen, was accounted for,” said Rhae’s dad.

He says it was a proud moment for the whole family. “Oh, it was fantastic; I mean, obviously, there was a lot going on, but just seeing her with her brother at the top of the stairs when we were all trying to get out was fantastic,” he said.