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Everyday Hero: Neighbor helps rescue five kids fleeing burning home

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Posted at 5:58 PM, May 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-03 19:12:23-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Durrell Skeeter recalls the moments when he first learned about the fire.

He was inside his home at the Charlestowne Condominiums, and it was his 5-year-old godson who first alerted him there was a fire.

"Everything happened so fast."

Durrell guides our cameras to his neighbor's home.

"I walked down here - the window was kinda real smoky, so I couldn't see too much inside, but once the window broke right up here, it just... it just - 'Bam!'"

Too smoky to get in through the front, Durrell went around to the back and tells us there were children already by an open second-story window yelling.

"All the kids were out screaming, 'Help!'" he said.

Five times, Durrell had to reach up and catch those kids as they were climbing out of that window. Fortunately, he's 6'2", so he was able to reach up, grab their feet and pull them down.

He didn't have time to look around for something to stand on or a ladder to help save those lives.

"If you see someone in danger, you're going to try to save them. I think any man would do that," he tells News 3.

That's how Durrell sees his life-saving actions - in a rather matter-of-fact way.

Related: Everyday Hero: Local engineer surprised with award for being an outstanding mentor

"One climbed out the window, and I was able to grab her leg and she let go and then the rest just started and I was just catching 'em. I don't... I don't consider myself a hero, but police officers, firefighters, nurses, doctors - they save lives every day. This is just something, me being in the right place at the right time," Durrell said.

We at News 3 see it differently and presented Durrell with an Everyday Hero award, along with a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner, Southern Bank.

To nominate someone for a News 3 Everyday Hero award, send an email to