‘He’ll always be a hero now’: 10-year-old honored for saving grandfather from house fire

Fire chief: ‘I definitely would take him on as a future firefighter’

ALLEGHANY COUNTY, Va. – 10-year-old Dalton Pennington started April 19 playing video games at his grandfather’s house in Falling Spring. He ended the day as a real-life action hero when a fire destroyed the home.

“I said to my grandpa, ‘The living room is on fire,'" Pennington recalled. "The third time, he heard me. He went to open the door to his room and flames went flying in his face.”

Pennington and his grandfather, Robert Persinger, escaped the fire. Falling Spring Fire Chief Thomas Andrews heard about Pennington’s actions, and decided to surprise him on Saturday.

“His maturity and composure throughout that incident at his age is absolutely astonishing," Andrews said. "I definitely would take him on as a future firefighter.”

The Falling Spring Volunteer Fire Department drove their fire trucks to Pennington’s home in Low Moor. Andrews presented Pennington with a plaque to honor his actions and an Xbox One to replace the game console lost in the fire.

“May your courage be an inspiration to others,” Andrews told Pennington during the surprise presentation.

Persinger escaped without any injuries, but Pennington did suffer minor burns to his hands in the incident.

“It’s getting a lot better now," Pennington said. "I can actually move it a lot better.”