ROSELAND | 11-year-old saves sister, 2, runs back into burning house for the rest of his family .
Meet Adonis Bell, hero.
At 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, the 11-year-old woke up when a fan started pushing heavy black smoke into the room where he slept.
He was the only one in his grandma’s Roseland two-flat to notice.
Barefoot in a tank top and jogging pants, Adonis went to the kitchen where he saw the ceiling on fire near his bedroom — billowing black smoke and orange flames that were gnawing a giant hole above the kitchen stove.
The boy remained calm.
“I knew what to do,” Adonis said. “A fireman came to our school.”
He ran to wake his mother, who told him to get his 2-year-old godsister, Jordan Hobbs, out of the house.
That’s what the fireman at school said, too. “Get myself and everybody out. He told us not to grab any stuff,” Adonis remembered. “Just get out.”
Jordan was sound asleep in her Tinkerbell pajamas. Adonis threw her over his shoulder and carried her out the front door like a firefighter. He set the girl down on the sidewalk, put her hand on the chain link fence and said, “Hold on to this and stay here.”
Then, Adonis, a fifth-grader at Gompers Elementary School, ran back into the burning building.
“I went to get my Auntie Karen in her room,” he said. “My mom got my brother, he ran upstairs to wake up my grandma. Fire was spreading all over the place.”
Adonis ran out of the house and banged on the neighbor’s front door until someone answered and called 911.
When firefighters arrived, Adonis and his family were safely huddled together near the sidewalk watching almost everything they owned — clothes, shoes, family heirlooms, even the computer Adonis was using to help boost his math grades — burn up.
“Thirty years of life in that home and it was gone in a puff of smoke,” Adonis’ grandmother, Karen Bell, said. “It’s a tragedy, but we can buy a couch or chairs instead of five or six caskets and grave plots.”
The fire started after Adonis’ sister left the stove on unattended, family members said. Fire spread throughout the wood frame two-flat at 12011 S. Wentworth. The place was completely gutted.
The fire was so hot it melted the vinyl siding on the house next door.
Two firefighters were injured in the blaze. One was taken to Little Company of Mary Hospital suffering from heat-related injuries, fire officials said.
Bell owns the house free and clear, but she had let her homeowner’s insurance lapse. Now, her seven family members who lived at the Roseland house are staying with one of Bell’s daughters in suburban Riverdale.
“I don’t know what we’re going to do,” she said. “But we’re alive.”
Thanks to her hero grandson.
“Adonis has been a blessing to us,” Bell said. “He was able to think rationally when most people, most children, would panic and just run out of the house themselves. He saved our lives. All of our lives.”
Adonis says he knows that he’s a hero. His family told him so.
How does it feel?
“Sad,” the boy said.
BY MARK J. KONKOL | suntimes
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