Lakeland Fire Department names 9-year-old girl hero of the month after saving family from fire

A nine-year-old was hailed a hero after a fiery escape.

Flames broke out in a Florida home, but Zniayah Armstrong acted quickly to get her family to safety.

“On behalf of Lakeland Fire Department, we want to give you this certificate of recognition for what you did that day,” said Lakeland Fire Department Chief Doug Riley.

The Lakeland Fire Department honored her act of courage as Armstrong was named the Kid Wish Network Hero of the Month for her brave act.

Back in May, a fire broke out in the home of Armstrong’s grandmother when the little girl helped get her brothers, sisters and 70-year-old grandmother who fell during the incident.

Armstrong shared how nerve-wracking it was moments after the fire.

“I was scared,” said Armstrong. “Like it was scary to know that the house was on fire, but I had to stay calm. So it was scary.”

Armstrong overcame those fears for her family’s sake, but she also explained what helped her on that, day.

“At school we do a lot of fire drills, a lot of them,” said Armstrong. “So I knew what to do.”

Her actions left Riley in awe.

“It’s pretty amazing for a nine-year-old to be able to stay calm and to remember what she heard in school and to be able to put that into action,” said Riley.

Her aunt, Ma’lisa Butler, said she practices those drills at home which didn’t surprise her family.

“Because Zniayah is the type of child that is very smart,” said Butler. “She’s quick thinking. She’s always coming home like, look, you know, this is what we learned today at school.”

Riley was eager to get Armstrong on the force.

“I’m a recruiter, man. I recruit around the clock and I definitely will be talking to this young lady,” said Riley. “So she may have a couple of years left, but, you know, we’ll work on it and plant that seed.”

Until Armstrong is ready for a job in the fire rescue field, she looks forward to the new school year and she has this advice for her peers during emergency drills.

“Make sure you listen at all times,” said Armstrong. “Make sure you pay attention.”

Because you never know when you might have to put those skills to the test.