Juan Gomez, a 9-year-old boy from Iowa, was hailed as a hero in his hometown of Des Moines after he saved his family from a fire in the middle of the night. At around 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday, flames engulfed their family mobile home at Kings Mobile Home Park, but Juan was able to wake up and get everyone out in time.

As officers investigate what could have caused the fire, Juan Gomez’s family is just happy to have everyone safe.

Waking up and noticing an “odd smell,” Juan followed the scent and found the flames, which were already growing at a fast pace. He burst into his mother’s room and alerted her to the fire before going to check on his little sister, Cecilia.

“I felt like the house was immediately going to go down,” Juan Gomez told reporters. “I just thought it was popcorn, but it was so strong so I checked.”

According to CBS News‘ local affiliate KCCI 8, flames were blocking the front door and parts of the ceiling had already begun to fall into the mobile home.

“I had my door closed. He barged into my room and said mom there’s fire,” Juan’s mother Ana Dominguez told local reporters. “Had I stayed there I think five more seconds, I think we would’ve, yeah, fried basically.”

All five of their family members and their two dogs made it out of the mobile home alive, but their home was completely destroyed. Dominguez said that Juan was also trying to comfort his little sister all throughout the night.

“She was scared and she started crying,” Juan said. “I told Cecilia it will be okay.”

If it weren’t for Juan Gomez’s quick reaction after waking up, the family could have potentially died, police later told them.

“I thank god for that kid at that moment because we were dead asleep,” Dominguez said. “He is the reason we’re probably alive.”

De Moines, Iowa, where Juan Gomez, a 9-year-old boy, was hailed as a hero for saving his family from a mobile home fire
De Moines, Iowa, where Juan Gomez, a 9-year-old boy, was hailed as a hero for saving his family from a mobile home fire. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

A GoFundMe page has since been created for the family by Juan’s aunt, Verano Buentello, who has raised over $9,200 so far.

My sister in law Ana and her 3 children (my nieces and nephew 9, 8 & 4 yrs old) were hit with a tragedy overnight, as their home caught fire,” Buentello wrote. “[Juan] woke up his mother and significant other and they were able to get everyone and pets out of the home safely.”

She referred to the 9-year-old boy as “Juju,” a pet-nickname in the family for the young hero.

“We thank you God for waking our little Hero and saving his family❤,” she continued. “With that being said they lost everything they own, and escaped with the clothes on their backs.”

Noting how difficult it is money-wise for many families during the pandemic, she asked for any amount that could be donated to help the family replace their home and clothes.

“That 9 year old boy is a hero,” one commenter wrote who donated to help the family. “It made me proud to be an Iowan… Especially to be able to calm his sisters down while facing immediate threat. Well done. I wish and hope the best for this Family.”

“Juan is a true American Hero!” said another donor who gave $600. “Congratulations to the parents on raising a wonderful child.”

According to KCCI 8, family, friends, and Iowans proud of little Juan have pitched in and donated new shoes, winter coats, backpacks, and even more to help the children return to school and stay warm over the winter.

Happy that he was able to get everyone out safely, Juan told reporters that, “I’m just really happy that I saved them and I can still make memories with my family.”