Reporting Tracy Perlman
ST. PAUL (WCCO) — At 10 years old, Jayvion Jones has never won an award — until now. St. Paul Police recognized the 5th grader’s heroic actions with a special ceremony Wednesday.
With the help of a neighbor, Jayvion saved his mother from their burning home.
“I don’t think most kids would have been able to do what he did,” Jones’ mom, Ebony Jones, said. “If it wasn’t for Jayvion and Montel, I wouldn’t be here. I’m very proud of Jayvion.”
Jayvion calls the August day when he and his brother saw their home on fire scary.
“It was weird. The flames came through the window, it started little and grew bigger and bigger. I was worried,” said Jayvion.
Panic set in and Jayvion quickly ran into the home, trying to get his mother out.
Police say her boyfriend, Louis Ambrose, had sprayed lighter fluid all over the floors and walls. He forced the little boys out of the house and locked the door. Officers say he locked the mother in the bathroom and sat in the apartment as it filled with fire and smoke.
Knowing he had to do something, Jayvion began going to neighbors for help.
“She’s my mom, she’s the one that takes care of me,” Jayvion said.
“I was at home getting ready for work and heard the screams,” neighbor Montel Mixon said. “I saw my little neighbor sitting outside screaming, I ran up and saw their house on fire. Everybody said (Ambrose) had locked her inside the house.”
“Instantly, my instincts kicked in and I ran upstairs, kicked the door open and had a little tussle with him,” Mixon said. “Jayvion was pretty calm, but pretty hysterical, too.”
Chief Thomas Smith remembers the frantic calls on the police radio by officers about the fire.
“They talked about how quickly the fire was spreading,” Chief Thomas Smith recalled.
Smith said without Mixon’s help, Jayvion’s mother would likely not have survived.
“This is an amazing story because they truly did save the lives of others,” Smith said. “This is about families, neighbors and friends helping eachother, in what could have been maybe the most horrific incident that happened in our city in some time.”
Chief Smith presented Jayvion with the Award for Merit and Montel earned the Chief’s Award for Valor, which is the highest award given by the department.
When asked what gave him the idea to do such a brave act and try to save his mom, he said he saw similar heroism by his heroes, police officers and fire fighters, on TV.
“Maybe I’ll grow up to be one of them someday,” he said, shrugging.
The St. Paul Police Department honored 11 others for their heroic acts, which include stopping robberies, saving a drowning woman and helping organize holiday events for underprivileged kids.