Officials praise 7-year-old ‘hero’ who alerted hospital staff to fire

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Officials praise 7-year-old 'hero' who alerted hospital staff to fire

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A little boy is being hailed a hero after officials say he alerted staff at Hasbro Children’s Hospital to a fire on the rooftop of one of its buildings.

Angel Jimenez, 7, was visiting his little brother who is a patient at the hospital when he looked out the window and saw something unusual.

“I saw the fire and I told my mom,” Jimenez said.

The fire broke out around 9 p.m. Tuesday night. Jimenez pointed it out to his mother, who in turn told staff members at the hospital.

“It was small then the fire got bigger and bigger,” Jimenez recalled.

“This fire was small, as soon as he saw it he told me right away and I believed him because as soon as I turned to look the fire got much bigger,” Francisca Jimenez, Angel’s mother added.

Story continues below video.

Firefighters were able to make quick work of the fire, knocking it down within 10 minutes of arriving on scene. No one needed to be evacuated from the building and no one was injured.

The hospital said they were fully operational Wednesday following the fire, the cause of which remains under investigation. They said there was work being done of the roof earlier in the day but it’s unclear if that is connected to the fire.

Officials said the hospital experienced water damage in several operating rooms below where the fire started. The area has since been partitioned off and will not reopen until repairs have been made.

“Multiple outside contractors and our internal experts are working together to ensure we meet the rigorous standards for cleanliness and infection control,” the hospital said in a statement.

The hospital said only five elective surgeries were rescheduled due to the damage, and all operations will proceed as scheduled beginning Thursday.

Jimenez is being praised for his quick actions. Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza presented him with a citizen’s citation, reiterating that if Jimenez didn’t speak up, the situation could’ve been much worse.

Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare called Jimenez a hero.

“Those critical seconds to get the fire department on their way makes a huge difference, minutes matter,” Pare said. “He’s a superhero. He saw something and said something about something that was unusual and thank goodness he did, because it probably made a difference.”

Pare said if Jimenez didn’t say anything, it’s possible the fire wouldn’t have been reported until it was much bigger, since it was on the outside of the building and the fire alarms would not have sounded right away.

Providence firefighters invited Jimenez, who was already sporting a red fire hat, to hop in their truck and onto the ladder. He said he wants to be a firefighter when he grows up.

Pare said he hopes to see him in a Providence firefighter uniform in the future.

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