Basketball players praised for saving Dallas family from fire

A group of high school basketball players are being praised for helping save a family from a house fire in North Dallas.

It started off as a normal night of celebration for the JJ Pearce High School basketball players.

“It's not what we normally do, it's a first for us I guess,” said Bryce Johnson

Johnson, Drew Timme and other teammates were headed home from a playoff win against The Woodlands when they spotted flames coming from the roof of a nearby house.

“The whole road was covered in smoke, you could barely see what was in front of me, we knew something was bad and we could kind of see orange flickering from what looked like the house,” said Timme.

The teens called 911, then headed to the house to wake up the family and get them out.  By then, Timme says the smoke was already thick inside; stinging his eyes and making it hard to see.

“I just banged on the door and I guess I woke the mom up and grabbed one of the kids out of there, because he was kind of close to the entrance,” said Timme. “I just grabbed him and said ‘is anyone else in the house?’ and I just started yelling inside”

Dallas Fire-Rescue says the couple inside, their two sons and all their pets were able to get out safely. They ran across to a neighbor’s for shelter.

FOX 4 spoke with the family by phone. They say they weren’t fully woken up by the smoke alarm and they’re thankful to the teens for saving their lives.

“I think they're heroes. and I think they're amazing, and we're very grateful for them for being brave for doing the right thing, for being responsible young men. Very proud of them,” said neighbor Jillian Britton.

They’re making their school and coach proud of them too.

 “It was a great night for us as a community, as a school, proud of those guys for how they played basketball but more proud of the people they are and the kids they are,” said JJ Pearce basketball Coach Marc Johnson.

Fire investigators say the cause of the fire was accidental, caused by an electrical short in the attic.