Teenager who saved neighbor, 69, from burning house honored

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) A teenager who went inside a house as flames from a shed fire spread to the residence to rescue his 69-year-old neighbor was treated to lunch Monday by the Waco Fire Department.

Waco Fire Chief Bobby Tatum talks with Damian Richardson, who’s credited with saving his 69-year-old neighbor from a house to which the flames of a shed fire had spread. (Photo by Rhyan Henson)

Ten days ago Waco High School student, Damian Richardson, 17, woke up Kelly Burns and made sure he got of the house and away from the threat posed by the spreading flames.

“A lot of times people just watch…or they wait on someone else,” Waco Fire Chief Bobby Tatum said Monday.

“But he really took action to go out and save his neighbor. And that's what it's all about.”

June 15 started off as just another Friday for Richardson.

“I was trying to get my last hour of sleep in,” Richardson said.

His mother interrupted his midday snooze by telling him a fire had broken out in the neighbor’s shed.

The teenager headed outside and found other neighbors gathered outside the house at 504 Lottie St., where flames from the shed fire had spread to the rear porch.

Other residents had knocked on the door of the home, but no one answered.

"I went to the side door where I usually see him coming out,” Richardson said.

“I knocked on it, he didn't answer, and so I went in and woke him up.”

Burns was unharmed.

“It needed to be done. We wanted to make sure everyone was OK,” Richardson said.