A heroic rescue caught on camera also serves as an important lesson on surviving house fires.
Vincent Harrison of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department said he wanted to be a superhero when he was a kid.
“You grow up and you think, oh, I want to be Spider-Man when I grow up. I want to be Superman when I grow up,” he said.
Now he's a real hero.
Footage from a helmet camera picked up the sound of a little girl in her bedroom calling for help as a massive fire in the kitchen quickly spread.
“I heard her knocking on the door,” he said. “‘Help, help. Somebody help me please.’”
“We grabbed her, got her out to fresh air, and she’s alive today,” Harrison said.
In addition to the firefighters’ heroics, the girl did something before she went to bed that may have saved her life: She closed her bedroom door.
“There was no soot on her, she didn’t have any signs of smoke inhalation or anything like that,” said Kyle Ballinger of Fairfax County Fire and Rescue. “She was completely clean due to that closed door.”
The footage of the rescue was shot on Ballinger's helmet camera.
The UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute promotes the Close Before You Doze campaign.
“So we’ve done comparisons that essentially show that you’ve got a thousand degrees on the open side of the door and a hundred degrees or less on the closed side of the door,” said Steve Kerber of UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute.
A man was killed in a house fire in Loudoun County Sunday. Firefighters say his bedroom door was left open. Two other people inside survived; their doors were closed.
It gives firefighters more time to get to people inside burning homes.
“I did something that truly matters,” Harrison said. “I saved a life, and that’s beyond satisfying for me.”
News4 reached out to the girl’s family, but they want to remain private.
CORRECTION (Oct. 21, 2019, 2:55 p.m. ET): A previous version of this story said the rescue footage was shot on Firefighter Vincent Harrison's helmet camera. It was shot on Firefighter Kyle Ballinger's helmet camera.