Glendale third-grader saves family from house fire using tips she learned from school

A nine-year-old girl from Copper Creek Elementary School in Glendale is being hailed a little hero for saving her siblings when their home went up in flames.

Her parents say she'd been taught about fire safety in school, and when she realized her family was in danger, she didn't hesitate to step in.

To honor Rhae, she was surprised at school. She thought she was just coming out for an assembly, but her mom, dad, siblings, and the chief of the Glendale Fire Determent were waiting for her.

"What she did, we're trained to do, and she did it, she did it without going through the fire academy," said Glendale Fire officials said. "She did it as a third-grader."

Back in February, Rhae was startled awake by a loud "boom."

"I thought someone was lighting fireworks outside our house," she said. It turned out that it wasn't fireworks, but an actual fire coming from the garage directly below her bedroom.

When Rhae realized what was happening, she jumped into action by grabbing her baby brother out of his crib and carrying him to her parents.

"Just seeing her with her brother, at the top of the stairs while we were all trying to get out," said Philip Parks, Rhae's dad. "It was fantastic."

One of the firefighters who responded that night, Matt Bender, known to the kids at Copper Creek Elementary School as "Fireman Matt," has been teaching the kids, including Rhae, how to respond to a fire.

"It makes me feel that what I'm doing is helping. They're listening, they're taking it home to their families and making a plan," Bender said.

In front of her family, and classmates, Rhae received a Glendale Fire Department "Little Hero" Award, along with her own helmet, a shirt, and a challenge coin, as a reminder of her courage and bravery while saving her family.

Rhae says when she grows up she wants to be a police officer, so she can continue to help save other people.