The city of Hartford recognized two teens for their heroic actions after they saved their families from a raging house fire.
“You're a blessing to our city," said Mayor Pedro Segarra. "I want to thank you."
That was the message he personal delivered to 17-year-old Antwanna Tulley and 16-year-old Christopher Brown.
“We don't often tell our people that we love you… but we love you,” Segarra added.
He honored their bravery at City Hall on Monday night. The fire ripped through their multi-family home on Edgewood Street last Wednesday. The teens woke up to the place engulfed in flames.
“It’s overwhelming… I think I’m being honored for something I was supposed to do,” explained Brown.
He was on the second floor unit and got his sister out first. Then he went back into the burning building to save his mother who is partially paralyzed.
His neighbor Lamont Coleman, who was also recognized by the city, then carried her to his place across the street.
“She had to slide down on her bottom down the stairs on the second floor I was with her I could see the smoke coming,” Brown explained.
“I was sleeping I saw a yellow light on the side of me I woke up there was fire on the bed,” said Antwanna Tulley.
Her space heater on the first floor sparked the fire. She picked up her seven younger siblings and carried them out of her window to safety, before she rescued her mother.
“I wasn't thinking I just knew I had to get my brothers and sisters out,” Tulley explained.
These families lost their homes and almost everything they own. The City of Hartford gave them all Christmas gifts including warm clothes and new toys, and hoped this would ease some burden.
“I thought this was going to be the worst Christmas but this is the best Christmas ever,” Tulley said.
This holiday season these teens were just thankful to be alive and focused on moving forward.
“I always think something better is going to come,” Brown added.
Brown said his family was still living in a motel. Tulley said she and her family were staying with loved ones.
The city of Hartford declared Dec. 23 “Heroes of Edgewood Street Day,” in honor of the teens, and their neighbor who helped out during the fire.