Teenager recognized after saving family from west Phoenix house fire

A young man was honored this weekend for saving the lives of his family members after a fire broke out in their west Phoenix home last year.

Back on Nov. 5, 2021, 16-year-old Salvador Velazquez was asleep in his home near Thomas Road and 89th Avenue when he woke up to smoke and flames.

After calling 911, he remained inside to make sure his trapped family could safely get out of the burning home.

"I went out looking for my grandmother and my little cousin, so went in there, grabbed my cousin, took him outside, grabbed grandma and then took her outside too," the teen said.

Velazquez is a member of the Desert Young Marines, and he was awarded the Life Saving Ribbon on March 12 for his heroism.

"I think the firefighters deserve more of the credit because they took out the fire, made sure everything was safe, so I am thankful for them," he said.

Firefighters arrived within three minutes of the initial call and successfully put out the flames, officials said. 

The Life Saving Ribbon is given to those who place themselves in life-threatening positions to help others.

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