The Short of It
All eight members of the Lukens family were sound asleep early Monday morning when son Jeb, 14, woke to find the family's home engulphed in flames. Instead of freaking out, the teen went straight into hero mode and managed to get his brothers outside before it was too late.
"My oldest boy pretty much saved all of us," Dad Jesse told ABC News. "It's hard to put yourself last sometimes. I just wanna thank the Lord he thought about others first."
Here's how it all went down: After Jeb saw the flames, he woke up his two little brothers, Thad, 9, and Morgan, 7. He had Thad jump out of the second story window, but Morgan was too scared. "He said he didn't wanna go out the window," Jeb told WLOS TV. "So I grabbed him, and I lowered him right there by the bush." The brave teen then ran to the first floor to make sure the rest of his family got out.
It took firefighters less than 10 minutes to arrive on the scene, but by that time, "the entire top floor had already burned off," Fire Chief Greg Rutte told ABC News. He said the Lukens' home was so badly damaged, investigators may not be able to determine the exact cause of the fire.
While the Lukens may have lost almost everything in the fire, thanks to Jeb's amazing act of courage, the entire family of eight made it out alive with just a few "bumps and bruises." And that's all that matters to his dad.
"I thought they were trapped upstairs," Jesse said of his boys. "As soon as we got everybody out of the house, I didn't care about anything else. They can never be replaced. All of this other garbage can."
Church members have been helping the Lukens salvage what they can from the home, and today, the family will move to a mission house on church property until a rental home is ready.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe page that was set up by Jeb's aunt has already raised more than $10,000.
"Losing everything at Christmas is such a heartache," the aunt wrote. "We are thankful they are safe, but we'd like to help them as they are homeless right now!"