Four Massachusetts teens now have keys to the city of Worcester for their roles in saving several people from a city fire.
On Tuesday, the teenage heroes were honored by the City Council for risking their own lives to save others.
"It's a lot to take in," said Abderrahman Sebeai of the honor.
The boys, who are high school students, came to the ceremony wearing their Junior ROTC uniforms, with their families.
"When we helped with the fire, we didn’t expect the response we got. We just did it because we felt that was the right thing to do," said Marquis Bell.
The day before Thanksgiving, the four teens were driving on Hamilton Street in Worcester when they noticed smoke coming from an apartment building.
Another man also stopped, and without hesitation, all five heroes ran inside.
When they realized people were home sleeping, they broke down doors to warn them.
They say their training in their Junior ROTC kicked in. "It's all about thinking about others before you think of yourself. I thank the ROTC and my instructors for instilling those qualities in us," said Raesean Goodney.
The mother who lived on the second floor said shortly after the fire that she and her three children had no idea there was a fire until she heard the boys yelling at her to get out.
“I would be dead, I would be dead there’s no doubt about it," said Danielle Cormier of Worcester.
The boys were given keys to the city during Tuesday night's City Council meeting.
The mother who lived on the third floor was also there to say thank you.
Worcester Mayor Joe Petty was among those who praised the teens for their heroic actions.
“It just makes you proud for someone to go in. There are a lot of people who wouldn’t know how and to go in and do that and risk their lives for other people says a lot," Petty said.
The teens said it's a lesson for everyone.
"Showing that anyone can be a hero, no matter what, if you have a chance to do something kind, take that option. Don’t just drive by. Always help people," said Jordan Parker.
The families that lived in that apartment are trying to find places to live. But they told the boys once they're settled, they hope to have them all over for dinner as a sign of their gratitude.
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