-- A gutsy grade-schooler is being dubbed a "little hero" after alerting dozens of guests at a Virginia bed and breakfast Saturday night that the building they were in was going up in flames.
Ashton Dunford, 10, of Lexington, first saw the fire from his residence across the driveway and immediately sprung to action to tell everyone inside that they needed to evacuate, Good Place Farms Bed and Breakfast owner Justin Peery told ABC News.
“Ashton ran across the street and into the building screaming for the people to get out. There was smoke inside, and without hesitation, he went right in,” Rockbridge County Emergency Management Coordinator Robert Foresman told ABC News.
Forty people were staying at the renovated barn turned business for a wedding the following afternoon when the fire broke out, according to Foresman.
“If it wasn’t for Ashton, we definitely could’ve had some fatalities. He even was trying to help put the fire out once we arrived,” Foresman said.
It took roughly an hour for fire crews to contain the flames, as there were no fire hydrants near the establishment, and all relief water was brought in by tankers, Foresman added.
He said that up to 75 crew members from across the region were needed to help get the flames under control. Fortunately, no one was injured in the fire, though Good Place Farms Bed and Breakfast was destroyed.
Despite the fire, the wedding went ahead as planned on Sunday afternoon, albeit with a new guest: Ashton, who was invited along to thank him for his heroics.
Peery said that the 10-year-old is surprised by all the attention. "He doesn’t even realize what he did," Peery said. "How he saved lives. He’s already talking about rebuilding and setting up for more people to stay in the future -- he just wants to go fishing between now and then."
The cause of the fire has not been determined and the incident remains under investigation.
ABC has reached out to Ashton Dunford's family for comment.