CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A fifth grader was declared an honorary Junior Charlotte Firefighter after officials said he pushed three classmates out of the way from a falling utility poll last week.
Charlotte Fire said Juan Andres Cabesa Mina and his classmates were waiting for their school bus to take them to Windsor Park Elementary when a vehicle crashed into a utility pole with active power lines.
Officials said Juan rushed into danger and moved his classmates out of the way from the collapsing pole, only for the pole to fall on top of his legs.
When firefighters arrived, bystanders had already freed the boy from under the pole. Juan was taken to the hospital where he spent the next two days.
Tuesday, the heroic student’s first day back to school, Juan was welcomed by the student body, school staff, CMPD officers and Charlotte Fire Engine 42 and 65. He was presented with a certificate of appreciation by Fire Chief Reginald Johnson.
“Juan is an example of service before self,” Johnson said. “Charlotte Fire and the entire community thank you for your heroic actions to save your friends.”
The fifth-grader downplayed his heroism in the incident.
“What I did that day, I didn’t do to be a hero. I did it out of my heart,” said Juan through is translator, whose first duty as Junior Firefighter was to sound the horn on Engine 65. “I don’t remember what happened, but I will always have everyone in my heart.”