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City Renames Street After 8-Year-Old Hero Who Died Saving Little Sister

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Sean McCullough, Decerio Coley, children in Bruce Street fatal fire
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Rick Ritter joined WJZ Eyewitness News in May 2014 as ...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore honors an 8-year-old boy with a permanent reminder of his heroic actions. Decerio Coley saved his little sister from a house fire that later killed him and his brother.

City leaders have now renamed a street after that brave little boy.

Rick Ritter was there for the emotional dedication.

It took the City Council just days to rename the street Decerio Coley Way–something they say will help the 8-year-old’s heroic actions live on forever.

A sign of courage and heroism. What was a street filled with horrific memories now stands as Decerio Coley Way.

“He’ll always be remembered,” said Sean McCullough Sr., victims’ father.

This, after the 8-year-old boy put his life on the line to save his own family.

“They were my little men,” said Rokea McCullough, victims’ mother.

On June 16, flames ripped through the McCullough family’s Bruce Street home, trapping three children on the second floor.

Eight-year-old Decerio Coley was hailed a hero after he dropped his 4-year-old sister, Wynter, out a second story window to safety. He then rushed back to save his 6-year-old brother, Sean, but they never re-emerged.

“I feel like I’m going to hear them screaming and I’ll be able to run in there and get them,” McCullough said.

Firefighters were able to get inside the burning home and save Decerio, but they couldn’t save Sean. Decerio was taken to a nearby hospital with burns to 60 percent of his body. He was later taken off life support.

The heartbreaking fire left a mark on the entire city, inspiring Councilman William Welch to rename Bruce Street after the 8-year-old.

“The city jumped through all kinds of hoops because of the empathy they had for this young man,” said Welch.

Welch says it’s the quickest a street has ever been renamed.

“The quickest before this was 45 days,” he said.

It gives Decerio’s little sister something to remember her big brother by.

“She understands they’re gone, but doesn’t understand they’re not coming back,” McCullough said.

It also helps the rest of his family recover–one day at a time.

“At least they’ll always be remembered and I’ll always remember,” their father said.

A funeral service for the two little boys will be held Saturday morning at the Greater Harvest Baptist Church in West Baltimore. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

If you would like to help the McCullough family, you can call M&T Bank. Just ask how to donate to the McCullough Fund.

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