Last Saturday morning, 18-year-old Adam Attalla noticed a burning smell and then his mother saw a neighbour’s house on fire. Two girls were on the roof of the Mississauga semi-detached house with another girl trapped inside.
Adam Attalla leapt into action.
"There was a lot of smoke. So, the two girls came down, and the little girl was still stuck. I told people. Nobody did anything. So, I tried climbing up the wall first. It did not go out well.
"So, a neighbour led me into her house, and I jumped from her roof to the second roof, and I opened the window and got the little girl out," Attalla said.
Five children were inside the home when the fire started. A 15-year-old and an infant were on the main floor and were able to evacuate. The other three children became trapped on the second floor - two managed to get out onto the roof while a seven-year-old got stuck inside a bedroom.
District Fire Chief Craig Dockery described Attalla’s heroic action.
"An 18-year-old came down the road, went into the neighbour's house. They opened the window on the second floor. The 18-year-old then walked along the roof and helped that seven-year-old get out. And then all three of the children walked along the roof and into the neighbour's home. It is absolutely incredible."
Adam Attalla is being widely commended for his action and is being recommended for a citation award for his bravery.
When asked what led him to act, he said, "It had to be done. Somebody had to do it. I just had to go up there. At least try it."
"I did what I had to do," he said. "It was the right thing to do."
Adam Attalla is a graduate of the Olive Grove School (OGS), a private Islamic School in Mississauga and the school expressed their pride in their alumnus.
“OGS staff were so proud of Adam's heroic act to save lives in Mississauga yesterday. Being an OGS Graduate (Class of 2018) is inspiring to all our students and community to transform our mottos into practice.”
"Incredible bravery shown by 18-year-old Adam Attalla who found a way onto the roof to save several children from the fire. Your heroism is truly inspiring," said Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie.