LANHAM, Md. (WUSA) - When his home was on fire and his mother and sister were trapped inside, 13-year-old Tajli Lee knew exactly what to do.
Taji Lee isn't a fireman. He's not even old enough to drive.
He's an 8th grader at Thomas Johnson Middle School. But when a huge fire ripped through his family's home, Taji didn't hesistate.
"I think I just knew what to do. I don't think I was scared," he said.
Taji knew what to do, but his mom , who has multiple sclerosis,- did not. "I was kind of arguing with him that I want to get upstairs to see what was happening because I'm your mother," she said.
But Taji didn't listen. He carried his mom and sister outside, told a neighbor to call 911, and then carried his mom out a second time and locked the door so she couldn't get back in.
"I know they tell me only if you need to disobey the rules, then you can disobey them. So I thought this was one of those moments that I was supposed to disobey them," Taji said.
" He turned out to be right and I told him, this is the one time. I'm so proud that you didn't listen to me because I may not have made it out of that house," his mother said.
The Prince George's County Fire Chief said about Taji on Friday, "With the calm and courage of a seasoned rescuer, he pulled his mother from the home. He told me later on, it's like the firemen carry. I threw her over my shoulder and took her out of the home."
The Fire Chief gave Taji the Chief's Award for Heroism and Special Achievement on Friday.
It's been two weeks since the fire and it still smells like smoke out near the family home, which is all boarded up. The family is living in a hotel and there are just all these little eerie reminders out here of how close it came to someone getting seriously hurt, like a partially melted swing or Taji's basketball hoop just lying on its side.
Taji said, "I just think that what I did that day was because someone was in trouble and I felt the need to help....I love her to death. But she's my mom. I'm 13. She can still be a little mean. She makes me clean my clothes up."