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By WFXT

EPPING, N.H. — A New Hampshire 16-year-old is being called a hero after he pulled his 3-year-old sister from their burning home.

When smoke began filling their home last week, the Hutchins family ran outside. It wasn’t until they got out into the yard and did a head count that they realized 3-year-old Melodi was still missing.

Brandon Hutchins spoke to FOX25 as he stared at the blackened wood that lines the bedroom where he woke up the night of Oct. 26 and saw flames.

“This is her window, and that’s my window,” he said. “You could see the fire on the side of her wall.”

His mother, Julia, hustled her family out of the home, but just seconds later, Brandon realized Melodi was still in her bedroom, which was filling with smoke.

Brandon raced back inside and grabbed Melodi, but as he carried her down the stairs, the smoke stole his breath and his sight. There was a moment when he thought they might not make it out.

“I had almost fell down the stairs because the smoke got me really dizzy … [I] couldn’t see anything. I was just making guesses where things were,” Brandon said.

Outside, Julia waited for her children to reappear.

“It was just unbelievable,” she said. “It seemed like forever. I just kept saying, ‘Where’s Brandon? Where’s Melodi? Where’s Brandon? Where’s Melodi?’”

They got out, coughing and scared, but with each other — and Melodi’s favorite stuffed animals.

“She was pretty frightened by what she was seeing,” Brandon said.

Brandon shrugs off suggestions that he’s a hero.

“I didn’t expect to be, like, thanked for all this,” he said.

But for his parents, thank you will never be enough.

“I just think it’s amazing, I’m so proud of him,” Julia said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The family says it will likely be six months before they can move back inside.