BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) — It was a surprise today at Union Local’s graduation ceremony as two sisters were applauded before walking across the field.  

7NEWS Anchor Stephanie Grindley has the story of a typical drive to school that turned into a rescue mission. Seen only on 7NEWS. 

One early morning, 20-year-old recent U-L graduate Hannah Eikleberry was driving her eighth-grade sister Sarah to school.  

They both thought it was fog surrounding a house, but that gut feeling had them turn around, pull into the driveway and take a second look. 

Hannah Eikleberry, Union Local graduate and hero: “And then it started more heavy coming out of the roof.” 

These neighbors called 9-1-1, rushed to the front door but were blocked by the home’s dog. 

“…So, we drove around back, went down stairs, and knocked on the door.” 

Sarah Eikleberry, 8th grade graduate, Union Local

“They came pounding on the door, it woke me up. And they came in and said your house is on fire.” 

Caleb Cole, UL student, house-fire victim

Grabbing the cats, and dog; everyone made it out just in time. Then Sarah and Hannah would call Caleb’s mom, who was at work, as the house would become engulfed in flames. 

At Sarah’s eighth grade graduation, the sisters were bestowed gifts by the fire department. 

“I wouldn’t have thought today I would be a hero.”  

“What’s a hero to you?” “Someone who takes action at the right moment. Just be there at the right time.” 

Smith Township Volunteer Fire Department deemed the home a total loss. But Caleb and his brother Logan (who were both in the home and unaware of the flames) are alive. And for that, this 15-year-old cannot thank his neighbors enough for skipping class. 

“I think it would have been a lot worse. I don’t think we’d be here right now.” 

“Caleb tells me they’ll be staying in a trailer until they can find a new house.”