PHILADELPHIA - We hear the word hero tossed around a lot, but 17-year-old Rudy Edwards wears the title well.
Friday, he was recognized by students, teachers, the state and the city of Philadelphia for his bravery and heroism.
Last weekend, he did what many would never do.
The teen rushed into his burning home to save his 1-year-old nephew, Bryce, who was trapped inside.
"I wasn't thinking about fear, I was not thinking about nothing, I just had to go back and get him. I was just thinking about him go get Bryce. It was just repeating in the back of my head, go get Bryce," Edwards said.
Talking to Edwards, it's clear he has an inseparable bond with his little nephew.
"Short, cute and chubby, that is my little favorite nephew," he said.
Despite the smoke and flames, he says he never thought of himself, but he knew he had to save little Bryce. The smoke was so thick, he says he couldn't see the toddler, but when he heard the small voice and coughs, he was able to locate him and save him.
"I just had to go back. I just couldn't let him die. He is just one-years-old, he is too young," Edwards said.
That fire destroyed the family's home along the 1000 Block of Flanders Avenue, but homes can be replaced. The miracle is that all 8 people inside, 3 adults and 5 children are alive.
His family is beaming with pride. They are thankful for their hero and for what they call a miracle.
Edwards mom, Rachel Noel said, "It was one missing, and before I even had a chance - I don't know if I even thought about going back in, I am not going to lie, but when I knew he was missing, Rudy, just like that, just went in."
His aunt Andrea Noel said, "All of them are here. Every time I look at them, I just thank God that he showed mercy on them and they are here. I can't help it, I am sorry. I love you Rudy."
Edwards say all the attention is a bit much. He says his selfless act was not about recognition, but was done out of love. He's now thankful he'll get to see his nephew grow up. And yes, he'll have quite the story to tell.
He said, "I thank y'all for your love and support and me and my family really appreciate it. Thank you."
If you would like to help this family out, they have set up a GoFundMe Page.
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