A recent apartment fire in Maryland shocked a family, but the brave actions of the eldest son prevented total disaster. On November 22, Keishauna Banks made a routine trip to the grocery store in preparation for her family’s upcoming Thanksgiving meal. While she was at the store, her two children were at home in the family’s Salisbury, Maryland apartment.
Around 6:00 p.m. in the evening, an electrical malfunction on the second floor started a fire that began to spread throughout the apartment. Her two children, La’Prentis Doughty, 11, and Loyalty Doughty, 2, were inside the house as smoke alarms began to go off.
Initially, La’Prentis ran from the home realizing a fire had started. However, once reaching safety outside, he quickly realized his little sister was still inside the burning home.
Risking his own safety, he ran back inside to save his little sister. In the process, he sustained burns to his arm. Fortunately, the burns were only minor and La’Prentis didn’t require any treatment.
The heroic older brother says he couldn’t live with himself if he didn’t rescue his little sister. “If I didn’t save my sister, I would be mad at myself because I could’ve saved her easily. I could have saved her, and I would risk my life for my sister,” he said.
The Salisbury Fire Department deployed about two dozen firefighters who extinguished the flames within 10 minutes. However, it is estimated about $290,000 in damages was caused.
Banks has since set up a GoFundMe to help with the financial burden of recuperating from this fire. The family lost all of their possessions and clothes. According to the fundraising page, Banks wrote,“I ask humbly for anyone that is able to help me and my children in our time of need. I also will pray and continue to pray to God to bless everyone who has a hand in helping us to bless each and every one with overflowing Blessings. Thank you for all of the prayers and Love.”
Banks said, “I feel bad because I don’t know how to reward him right now. I praise him and let him know, ‘Do you know you did a good job?’ But I’m still trying to process everything. I’m still in shock.” La’Prentis has rightfully received an outpouring of support and praise from the local Salisbury community in light of his heroic actions.
The First Baptist Church of Salisbury, Maryland stated in a Facebook post:
“Today, the Watchmen with One Voice Ministerial Alliance honored Laprentis Doughty, the 11 year old who rescued his toddler sister, Loyalty, from their burning apartment complex in November. The Watchmen met with Laprentis, his mother and sister to present a proclamation and $1,000 check. The ecumenical group also established a scholarship for Laprentis, who aspires to be a lawyer. Rev. Dr. Lewis N. Watson and Bishop George A. Copeland serve as President and Vice President, respectively. Watch WMDT-47 at 10 pm and 11 pm for full coverage.”
La’Prentis was also praised by the mayor of Salisbury for his selfless actions, awarded a Playstation 5 from a local car dealership, and given an award from the local school superintendent.
The family may have lost their earthly possessions, but thanks to the brave actions of La’Prentis, no one was hurt.
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