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11-year-old and dispatcher work to save home from fire

Both awarded Monday night for their heroics
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Posted at 11:39 PM, Feb 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-28 02:39:47-05

A San Diego Fire-Rescue dispatcher and an 11-year-old Chula Vista boy were honored for their quick thinking in saving that boy’s home from a fire.

On January 13, Caiden Clifton was home with his dog and sister, when he tried cooking pizza rolls in the oven. Clifton used a plastic tray, and the oven caught fire.

Instead of panicking, Clifton grabbed a fire extinguisher, put out the flames, then grabbed his dog and tied her to a tree safely outside. Clifton then called 9-1-1.

“I feel very proud of myself and still very scared,” Clifton said. “I never thought I would have to deal with something like that, but it did happen, and I did deal with it, which is why I’m proud.”

On the other end of the phone, was SD Fire-Rescue dispatcher Adrian Banks. Banks talked Clifton through the crisis, telling him to stay calm and assuring him that help was on the way.

For that action, Banks was awarded the 9-1-1 hero medal of honor. He has this advice to parents when talking to their kids about fire safety:

“Make sure they know their address, make sure they know their phone number, and make sure they know that their life is more important than any other possession in the house,” Banks said.

Clifton’s father, Omar, said he’s proud to know that his son not only saved his life, but also the life of his dog and their home.

“I’m just grateful the instinct he had within him just came through,” Omar Clifton said. “He did everything right in a situation that a lot of adults probably wouldn’t have handled.”