PLYMOUTH, Mass. - A Plymouth family has started a scholarship fund for two young brothers who saved them from a raging house fire.
Chayce Mello was up late playing video games in the early morning hours of August 22, enjoying one of the final days of summer vacation, when he smelled smoke. He woke up his older brother, Ayden. As the two boys searched their own home on Rocky Hill Road to find out what was burning, they noticed the back of their neighbor's home was on fire.
At that point, smoke was filling their home and making them cough.
Chayce woke up their mother, who called 911, while Ayden ran next door and started banging on doors and windows to wake up his neighbors as the flames grew to twice the height of the home.
Bruce Buckbee and his wife Diane were sound asleep, along with their daughter and her husband who were visiting from Ireland, where's they're going to grad school. Ayden managed to wake up the Buckbee's daughter, who alerted her parents and husband. Everyone managed to get out of the house, including the family's two pets, Homer and Siggy.
"We were able to get out, but another five minutes later, it probably would have been a recovery," Bruce Buckbee said. "That's how fast the fire moved."
The Mello brothers don't consider themselves heroes. They say they did what any good neighbor would have done.
"I think that's what should have been done for the neighbors," Ayden said.
Chayce added, "I'm just glad they're safe and alive and nobody got hurt."
The boys received a number of recognitions at Plymouth's select board meeting on Monday night.
"If it wasn't for Ayden and Chase, their quick thinking, their courage and their common sense, I feel the fire would have been front page news for a much different reason," Fire Chief Ed Bradley told the select board. "These two brothers are heroes in every sense of the word."
Plymouth's state senator and state representative honored the boys with citations for their bravery and quick actions.
"That's what a true hero really is - you did something, you acted upon something because it was the right thing to do, not because you were looking for these accolades," State Representative Mathew Muratore told the boys. "But being a hero comes with the accolades."
State Senator Vinny deMacedo presented the boys with a citation on behalf of Governor Charlie Baker.
"The Governor of the Commonwealth also wanted you to know your heroic efforts were not unnoticed by him and the Lt. Governor as well," deMacedo told the boys.
The Plymouth Fire Department gave the brothers an award, a patch the firefighters wear and a challenge coin.
"The Plymouth Fire Department is grateful for your quick action and service to your community," Deputy Fire Chief Neil Foley told the boys.
The select board also recognized the boys with a certificate.
"This is an early part of your life now, but take this and go forward with it," Select Board Chairman Kenneth Tavares told the boys. "You come from great stalk and continue to doing the great work you started by saving the lives already. That is unbelievable."
Amy Jean Perry, the boys' mother, said she's extremely proud of her sons.
"It was unprompted by me," Perry said. "It was just a natural thing [my sons] did. All we cared about was [the Buckbee family] was alive."
The real surprise came from the Buckbee family. They announced they have established a scholarship fund for the two brothers and deposited the first $2,000.
"We value education, we certainly value their heroism, and we'll never forget these boys," Buckbee said. "What you two did for us, we will never forget."
Plymouth Firefighters Local 1768 President James Brown announced the union would be honoring the brothers by writing checks for each of their scholarship funds.
If you'd like to donate to the boys' scholarship fund, click here.
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