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7-y-o saves toddler sister from burning home after mom says God woke her up

Eli Davidson
Eli Davidson, 7 |

A Tennessee mother is thanking God and her heroic 7-year-old son, who risked his life to save his toddler sister from their burning home earlier this month.

Nicole Davidson and her husband, Chris, who are both former firefighters, told CNN that on Dec. 8, they put their three children to bed at around 8:30 p.m. inside their New Tazewell home.

Hours later, Nicole says she is sure it was God who woke her up to alert her to a fire sweeping through their home.

“At about 11:30 [p.m.] someone woke me up and I know it was God,” Nicole Davidson told WVLT 8.

“He (Chris) grabbed the fire extinguisher trying to buy me time to get the kids,” Nicole recalled. “And I grabbed the boys because they were closest to the fire.”

The boys were the couple’s 2-year-old son, Elijah, and their 7-year-old Eli. In a few minutes, the fire had gotten out of control and the couple dashed outdoors to safety, leaving their 22-month-old daughter, Erin, behind in her crib.

“The scariest moment of my life is when I thought we couldn’t get her,” Nicole told WVLT 8.

"The smoke and fire was so thick there was no way I could get to her," Chris Davidson told CNN. "We went outside to get to her from the window, but there was nothing for me to stand on to reach up there.”

Eli told WVLT 8 that his father broke the window of Erin’s room and asked him to go get his sister but he didn’t believe he could do it at first. After thinking about his sister dying, however, he mustered up the courage to he needed to become a hero.

“Dad busted the window and then I said, ‘I can’t do it,’ like two times, and then I said, ‘I got her dad.’ And when we went down there I said ‘I was scared but I didn’t want my sister to die,’" Eli told the network.

"We couldn't be more proud of Eli," Chris Davidson told CNN. "He did something a grown man wouldn't do."

After his heroic feat, Eli said, “It’s OK to be scared but you are brave inside and you can do it (heroic things) when you want to.”

The Davidsons, who have fostered 34 children, including Eli, and adopted two others — Erin and Elijah, according to CNN — are now staying with relatives as their home was completely destroyed.

A GoFundMe campaign organized just over a week ago had raised more than $330,000 as of Monday evening for the family.

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