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The last thing 11-year-old Adonis Bell was thinking about two weeks ago when he saved his family from a burning house was being recognized as a hero.

The last thing 11-year-old Adonis Bell was thinking about two weeks ago when he saved his family from a burning house was being recognized as a hero. But at Tuesday’s Cook County Board meeting that’s exactly what he was declared by all 17 commissioners and President Todd Stroger. “You are a hero in your own right. What you did is not something the average 11-year-old does and for that we honor your bravery,” Stroger told Adonis at the meeting. “County government is about helping people, and as a Cook County resident, we want you and your family to know who are here for you.” Bell was presented with a plaque by Stroger and received a standing ovation from the county board and spectators who attended the meeting. And while Bell thanked everyone for the kind words, he said he just did what any man should do and that’s to protect their family. “I love my family and would do anything for them because they have always been there for me,” Bell said. “People should not have to risk their lives for others to recognize them. I am glad I was able to save my family, and I am even happier to know we will not be homeless thanks to Mr. Stroger and our mayor Mr. Dean.” Stroger and Riverdale Mayor Dean purchased a home for the family in Riverdale for $1 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. For now Bell is staying with family in south suburban Crete until minor repairs to the house are complete, said Dean. And Stroger plans to use $40,000 from the county’s Home Investment Partnership Program or the Neighborhood Stabilization Program to help pay for repairs. It was around 3 a.m., Aug. 25 when Bell was awakened and realized his grandmother’s Roseland home was on fire. He went and woke up his mother, carried out his little godsister and even went back into the house to make sure all seven family members had gotten out. Bell’s grandmother, Karen, had paid off her mortgage several years ago but let her insurance lapse, which meant no money to cover the damage to the house was forthcoming. ______ Copyright 2009 Chicago Defender. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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