“I really don’t see how special it is. I just see it as a normal thing.” – Malikah Barfield

Two teenage boys from Glendale, Arizona are being hailed as humble heroes. Their split-second random act of kindness is a tale of courage, selflessness and intelligence.

They deserve all the accolades bestowed on them — and the ceremony held in their honor.

Here’s what happened:

Malikah Barfield, 14, and Bryson Burris, 12, heard a woman crying and saw smoke coming from a nearby apartment on October 12. The boys didn’t hesitate — they grabbed a fire extinguisher and doused the flames.

What the boys could not have known was that the woman they heard crying was attempting to commit suicide by taking pills and lighting a fire in her kitchen.

“If I was in that situation, I would want someone to help me also … I really don’t see how special it is. I just see it as the normal thing,” Barfield told reporters.

Added Burris: “I would want help if that happened to me also, so I would want to help someone else out, instead of just standing there, waiting for the fire department and the police department to help.”

Fire officials called the two boys heroes for saving the woman—and for also preventing the fire from spreading to other apartments and injuring neighbors. Burris and Barfield suffered minor smoke inhalation and lacerations from the broken glass while seizing the fire extinguisher.

Here is the official fire department statement:

“On the night of October 12, 2017, Glendale Firefighters and Police Officers were called to an apartment complex near 7000 N. 75th Ave for an apartment fire. 14-year-old Malikah Barfield and 12-year-old Bryson Burris first heard crying from the apartment and then noticed the smoke. Without thought, they entered the smoke-filled apartment and exited to retrieve a fire extinguisher from the common area and re-entered the residence and extinguished the fire.

The boys then went back in with a Glendale Police Officer, and all three assisted the resident out of the apartment. The boys sustained minor lacerations from the broken glass retrieving the extinguisher, and both males suffered minor smoke inhalation.

They are not only credited with saving the life of the resident but also countless others as well as numerous apartments by stopping the fire from spreading. Today the Glendale Fire Department and the Glendale Police Department – Arizona presented these two young men with life saving awards and Glendale Firefighters Local 493 presented them with Target gift cards for their actions.”

Turns out, the boys were first responders – and if they had not acted quickly, the woman could have died.

“Here we have a couple of young men who not only got involved but because they got involved they saved lives, it’s a big deal,” Glendale Fire Chief Terry Garrison told reporters.

Said Glendale Police Officer Ashley Losch: “They took it upon themselves to not only get a fire extinguisher, but to get in the door, help the woman out and put the fire out. That is an amazing act for anyone, but especially a 12 and 14-year-old.”

By the way, the woman who tried to commit suicide was hospitalized and she was fortunate: She made a full recovery.

Meanwhile, the boys can now add two significant words to their emerging resumes: role models.

What do you think?

The boys received awards and Target gift cards for their heroics and my guess is that other gifts will be rolling in during the Christmas holidays.

PHOTO: Arizona 15 News screenshot

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7 thoughts on “Black Boys Are Heroes, Too

  1. now this is the result of proper upbringing; they were not chastise down to have a mind full of doubt, the appearance no doubt talk to him to have respect for people while they were at a young age. I think I would have been quite different if I hadn’t picked up many values from being in the scouts at a young age. Black parents especially Southern ones need to stop chastising their boys.

  2. Thanks for telling this story about young Black men begin honored as heroes instead of being mourned victims.

    Keep these stories coming!

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