Samuel Hatten wasn’t going to lose his little sisters, not when he’d lost so much in his life already.
After a light switch in his home spontaneously combusted, setting his bedroom ablaze, the 17-year-old didn’t hesitate to act. “I just wanted to get everybody out because I wanted us to still be a family and not have to lose anybody because I’ve lost a lot of people in my life,” Hatten told a local Tucson, Az. news station.
He was outside picking up the mail when he heard the fire alarm go off and saw the room fill up with smoke. After it spread throughout the house, Hatten broke the window to get in the girls’ room and rescue them.
“I grabbed both of them in my arms and climbed out the window backwards and swung my legs around and hopped out,” he recalled “I came and sat right here by the post and sat down and started yelling for help.”
“I was kind of distraught at first but I felt better now because I know that they are going to be in my life and I know that I’m not going to lose them,” Hatten said.
Through the fire was caught on video by surveillance cameras inside the home, officials are investigating the cause of the accident, which they believe could have been electrical.
The teen’s quick actions not only saved his six month old and 18 month sisters, but two of the three family dogs, as well. The fire department was able to rescue the third dog. Philip French, the teen’s foster dad (Hatten is his wife’s little brother, but they’re raising him), said the family would likely be in mourning if Hatten didn’t react so quickly.
“If i could give him a million dollars I would. I don’t know what else I could do for him. If I….it’s beyond words. They are here because he was here,” he said.
French launched a GoFundMe fundraiser to fix the teen’s room, and thank him for saving the little girls. “I could not be more grateful for him saving everyone,” he wrote on the GoFundMe page. “But everything that was in his room is gone. I’m trying to do something for him for saving our family.”