Boy, 11, runs back into burning apartment to save little sister

Investigators ruled the fire accidental, saying it was likely caused by an electrical problem. (WBOC, SALISBURY FIRE DEPARTMENT, CNN)
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 9:44 PM HST
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SALISBURY, Md. (WBOC) - A Maryland apartment fire could have had a tragic ending, if not for an 11-year-old boy who stepped up to save his little sister’s life.

Laprentis Doughty, 11, knew he had to do something when his family’s apartment caught fire around 6 p.m. Tuesday with his 2-year-old sister Loyalty still inside.

The heroic big brother says he couldn’t live with himself if he didn’t try to rescue his sister.

Laprentis Doughty, 11, is being hailed as a hero after saving his 2-year-old sister, Loyalty,...
Laprentis Doughty, 11, is being hailed as a hero after saving his 2-year-old sister, Loyalty, from a fire in their apartment.(Source: WBOC via CNN)

“If I didn’t save my sister, I would be mad at myself because I could’ve saved her easily. I could have saved her, and I would risk my life for my sister,” he said.

Investigators say Laprentis left his apartment upon discovering the fire but ran back inside when he realized Loyalty hadn’t made it out. He was able to rescue the toddler from the second floor.

The 11-year-old was slightly burned on the arm while escaping with his sister, but deputy state fire marshals say his injuries were minor enough that they did not require on-scene medical attention.

Laprentis’ mom, Keishuana Banks, is beyond grateful for his bravery.

“I feel bad because I don’t know how to reward him right now. I praise him and let him know, ‘Do you know you did a good job?’ But I’m still trying to process everything. I’m still in shock,” she said.

Salisbury Mayor Jake Day says he has a surprise planned for Laprentis to recognize his heroism.

“As a mayor, I’m always looking for citizens who are selfless, citizens who are willing to lead, and we’ve got one right here,” he said.

Meanwhile, Laprentis says he’s filled with joy.

“I feel good that my sister’s alive today. I feel happy that Thanksgiving is tomorrow,” he said.

The family will be staying in a hotel for the time being and is being assisted by the American Red Cross. They set up a GoFundMe for donations to assist them during this time.

Deputy state fire marshals ruled the fire accidental, saying it was likely caused by an electrical problem on the second floor.

The fire caused an estimated $250,000 in damage to the structure and another $40,000 in damage to its contents.