Tajajuan Womack, 11, saves family from Jersey City house fire when smoke detectors fail

Tajajuan Womack says he learned about what to do in a fire at school, so when the 6th grader woke to the smell of smoke at 2:45 a.m., he didn't panic. (4/7/14)

JERSEY CITY - A quick-thinking 11-year-old is being credited with saving his family from a fire that ripped through their Jersey City home early Monday morning. 

Tajajuan Womack says he learned about what to do in a fire at school, so when the sixth-grader woke to the smell of smoke at 2:45 a.m., he didn't panic. Instead, he sounded the alarm.

"I was asleep, and I smelled smoke," Tajajuan says. "I looked outside, but I couldn't see nothing. But I saw something red, like fire."

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The family is calling him their hero, since the smoke detectors failed to alert them. There were six people in the home at the time of the fire.

Tajajuan's mother, Wanda Womack says she was able to get everyone to safety. Firefighters told the family that if had exited the home five minutes later, the outcome could have been tragic.

"I feel really good that I saved all my family's lives," Tajajuan says.

Wanda Womack says there is extensive damage to the family's three-story home on Arlington Avenue. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but it is believed to have started in the basement.

The Red Cross is assisting the family.

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