9-Year-Old Hailed A Hero After Helping Fire Victims - New York News

9-Year-Old Hailed A Hero After Helping Fire Victims

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Nicole Gemignani points to some of the rubble left from Tuesday's fire. Nicole Gemignani points to some of the rubble left from Tuesday's fire.
BROWNS MILLS, N.J. -

A South Jersey fourth grader is credited for helping several families escape Tuesday afternoon's fire that ravaged homes at the extended-stay "Pine Village Inn" in Browns Mills, New Jersey.

"I was just screaming ' Get out! Get out! Get out, now!" Nicole Gemignani told FOX 29.

"I  knocked on people's doors and I  pushed people down the steps so they could get down faster," recalled Gemignani.

"I ran to her and hugged her," said fire victim and friend Marcia Vaughn as she hugged Nicole. "I said it's going to be okay. Thank you for saving all of us."

 "She ran to everyone's  door and said get out! There's a fire, said Vaughn. "She pushed one of her friends down the stairs."

That friend was Katelynn Perrone.

"I was going upstairs to see if anyone was cooking or burning something. And then as soon as I  get upstairs, she's coming down and like
pushing me down, yelling get out, get out, there's a fire...I  was shocked. She got me out. I'm lucky for her," Perrone said.

"I just thought about other people," said Nicole. I didn't want my friends to get hurt
and everything."

Fortunately, no one was hurt in the fire that officials say started in the unit right beneath Nicole's, then spread, destroying all 14-units in the two story building.

The pint-sized hero says, sure she was scared. But her compassion and bravery kicked in thanks to living in a family full of firefighters

that includes her brother T. J.

"We taught her make sure other people get out. But you gotta take care of yourself
too and make sure you get out as well."

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