Kinston teen to be honored by city after saving baby from fire

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — The city of Kinston will honor a teenager Friday who saved his baby cousin in a fire.

The teen is credited for grabbing his seven-month-old cousin and carrying him out of the family’s home.

On Monday, the Kinston Fire Department will recognize 17-year-old Jarraine “LJ” Gray at the City Council meeting, starting at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.

Original Story:

“Oh my God, I like lost my mind.”

That was Demetria Gray’s first thought when she heard her Kinston home of more than 40 years was in flames.

“Cause I was like, I got kids at home,” Gray said. That included her 7-month-old great nephew who was inside sleeping when the fire broke out.

“My sister said the baby is asleep,” said Gray. “My sister was like, ‘the baby, the baby.’”

As flames escalated, Jarraine “LJ.” LJ Gray was told to check on the kitchen, and it was then when the 17-year old had to act quickly to save a life.

“You could see like the fire start spread a lot more than what it was before I got that baby,” LJ Gray said.

“what was going through your head?…get that baby and get out.”

LJ Gray found his cousin just a few feet away from the kitchen where investigators say the fire started. He said he would do anything for his family.

“It makes me feel good, but I mean I just did something good,” said LJ Gray. “I guess I’ll get that kind of respect from people now.”

His mother Demetria said she is not surprised by his actions.

“It’s the norm for us,” said Demetria Gray. “That’s normal. We’ll give you the shirt off our back if it’ll help you to stay warm that’s what we do.”

She said it is his courage that everyone should remember.

“He has sickle cell anemia, and it’s something he don’t really like to discuss, but for him to risk himself to run into the smoke and get somebody else that was amazing,” Demetria Gray said.

Gray said they do not have insurance but plan to rebuild. If you would like to help, you can donate to their GoFundMe. 

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