Reporter: Lauren Compton l Videographer: Jemon Haskins
Lynchburg, VA- A Lynchburg woman is very thankful for her 9-year-old neighbor who sprang into action Monday afternoon after a mulch fire started burning dangerously close to her townhome.
Anthony Smoot says he learned about fire safety as a boy scout and has always dreamt of being a firefighter. At 9 years old, he may be too young to be a firefighter, but he's well on his way. He jumped into action when he saw a mulch fire near his neighbors' townhome.
"I stepped up in the yard, and I looked at it and it was black and smoke was coming out," said Smoot.
Anthony quickly ran and found his grandfather to help put it out. Then he warned his neighbor Rhonda Saunders.
"I was in the house upstairs , and I didn't smell anything. As soon as I came downstairs that's when I smelled something was burning," said Saunders, Smoot's neighbor.
Smoot says the flames started inching closer and closer to Saunders' townhome.
"I took this pan, and filled it up with water and threw it on the fire," said Smoot.
"I'm just so thankful for having him there to be able to do that," said Saunders.
Smoot gives credit to his granddad Mike Smoot for inspiring him.
"I want to be a firefighter and EMT. I want to do everything my papa did, because he works in the rescue squad," said Anthony Smoot.
For his grandfather, it's a humbling and overwhelming thought that his grandson wants to follow in his footsteps.
"I've been a firefighter for the rescue squad for 40 years. My father was a firefighter," said Smoot, choking back tears.
Smoot will get a merit badge from the Boy Scouts for his bravery