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Nine-year-old who acted during fire receives Baltimore County Fire Department's highest civilian honor

DJ Goodman, center, was awarded the Baltimore County Fire Department's highest civilian honor at a ceremony March 26 for alerting his grandparents to a house fire last year when he was just nine years old.
DJ Goodman, center, was awarded the Baltimore County Fire Department's highest civilian honor at a ceremony March 26 for alerting his grandparents to a house fire last year when he was just nine years old. (Courtesy Photo/BCFD)

On May 27, 2018, DJ Goodman, then 9 years old, saved his grandparents’ lives. Now he is being rewarded with the Baltimore County Fire Department’s highest honor: the Citizen’s Medal of Honor.

Fire department spokeswoman Elise Armacost said DJ was the only person to receive the medal of honor at an annual ceremony Tuesday at Loch Raven High School.

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DJ was asleep in his grandparents’ house in the unit block of Charleswood Court in Lochearn on May 28 when he woke up to the sound of a smoke detector, according to a fire department news release.

DJ “walked out of the bedroom to see the couch on fire,” the department said.

Recalling fire drill training, DJ crawled on the floor to wake his grandparents and alert them to the fire. They left the house and called 911.

“The family’s escape path took them in close proximity of the fire,” the release said. “Engine 18, the first arriving unit, recalled that there was zero visibility on the main floor due to smoke.” DJ’s grandfather was treated for smoke inhalation, the release said.

DJ was awarded the medal for “courage and the ability to remain calm during this extremely stressful incident,” the release said.

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