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Sandalwood High School student saves neighbors from fire in townhome community

Aaron Hill was awarded a DCPS Superintendent's Coin of Excellence for his brave actions in helping neighbors escape a fire in a townhome community.
Credit: Duval County Public Schools
Aaron Hill, a Sandalwood High School student, helped make sure all of his townhome community neighbors were safe during a fire.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — A Sandalwood High School student is being hailed as a "Saint" and a hero for making sure all of his neighbors at his townhome community safely escaped a fire last month.

Aaron Hill received the Duval County Public Schools Superintendent's Coin of Excellence for his brave actions. DCPS shared his story.

Aaron said he was up late working on homework on May 18 when he heard loud noises, looked out the window and saw a fire blazing in his neighborhood.

That's when he put on his shoes, dialed 911 and started knocking on neighbors' doors to make sure everyone got out safely, without even thinking about the flames. Aaron said many of his neighbors were sleeping and didn't realize there was a fire until he knocked on their doors.

"Because of his efforts, everyone got out safely," a post on DCPS' Facebook page says.

"My first priority was getting people out of the building," Aaron told the school district. "You can replace buildings, but you can’t replace people.”

The DCPS post goes on to say Aaron is a rising senior at Sandalwood High School, where he is very active in extracurricular activities, including serving as chorus president, student director and rising drum major of the Sandalwood Marching Saints marching band.

"I don’t see myself as a hero. I was just doing what any sane person would do,” Aaron told DCPS.

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