8-year-old Spring boy being hailed a hero after spotting his neighbor’s house on fire

SPRING – An 8-year-old Spring boy is being hailed as a hero for his quick action on New Years Day.

The night started out simple enough for Justin Clayton. He says he was watching a Spider-Man movie in his room in the early morning hours of Jan. 1 with all the action a third-grader would need on his television screen.

“But then, I looked out, and I saw my neighbor’s house on fire,” recalled Justin.

Justin says from his window, he noticed an orange glow he mistook for fireworks. He then realized his neighbor’s house, just two doors away, was burning.

“It was a big fire,” he said. “You could barely even see what was happening inside because it was so much.”

Justin immediately woke up his parents, who called 911. Because of Justin’s quick action, Spring firefighters made it to the scene in less than three minutes to find a fully engulfed fire spreading to the roof.

For his efforts, Justin was honored by the department and presented with a proclamation from his county commissioner.

And the neighbor?

“There’s no words to thank him,” said Bob Schenck. “I mean, honest to goodness. He is a lifesaver.”

Schenck was actually out of town when the fire happened.

His house is structurally a total loss, but because of Justin’s actions, firefighters were able to save some precious items including some that belonged to Schenck’s late father.

“His pictures from when he was in the Navy and his flag that was on his coffin,” said Schenck.

As for Justin, he also got to tour the Spring fire station with the firefighters who responded that New Years’ morning.

Overall, he said he was inspired.

“I want to be a firefighter now,” he said.


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