A 5-year-old boy is being credited with saving 13 people from a Chicago house fire early Saturday after he alerted others to the danger.

Jayden Espinosa awoke just before 4 a.m. to smoke and flames in the 2 1/2-story brick home in the Back of the Yards neighborhood and alerted those sleeping on the second floor to get up.

Jayden Espinosa

Jayden Espinosa (Fox 32 Chicago)

"I yelled to my auntie there was fire," Espinosa told WGN-TV. "I said fire was coming in the kitchen."

Jayden's parents were at their home on the city's Northwest Side, while Jayden and his sister were staying at the apartment with their aunt.

"My daughter got up to stand up and he’s like 'no, you have to crouch and move,'" Jayden's mom Tracey Espinosa told WGN. " ... I was thankful because I didn’t expect that of him, to be a hero, to save everyone’s life. He said 'I saved everyone.'"

Seven adults and six children were displaced and were being assisted by the Red Cross, but officials say the fire would have been much more tragic if Jayden hadn't realized the danger.

"I don't think we would have survived," said Jayden's aunt, Nicole Peeples, who added that the home's fire alarms never went off and she didn't smell smoke.


"I'm so glad he was there," she said.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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