He came for a proclamation, but when 13-year-old Langdon Gray left the Fulton City Council chambers Tuesday night, his arms were laden with much more.
Langdon was being recognized for helping his family escape from their burning house Aug. 8 in Fulton. He woke up to the screaming of smoke detectors and proceeded to help his mom, Amy, and two siblings, Carter (3) and Alyson (2), awaken and escape to safety.
His father, Joseph, said when the fire alarm went off, he jumped out of bed and ran for the kitchen, where he breathed in smoke and collapsed. The next thing he recalls is being outside, too.
Joseph Gray calls his son a hero. Now, so does everyone else.
On Tuesday, Fulton Mayor LeRoy Benton and members of the City Council presented Langdon with a proclamation, thanking him and extending sincere appreciation to the eighth-grade student.
Fulton Fire Chief Kevin Coffelt and his staff presented Langdon with a lazer-cut plaque of recognition. Through it all, Langdon was almost rendered speechless.
Surrounding the young man and getting pictures afterward were many of the same Fulton firefighters who responded to the August fire that destroyed the Gray family's home. If that wasn't enough, state Fire Marshal Tim Bean, of Jefferson City, arose from a seat in the back of council chambers and strode up to Langdon, shaking his hand.
"Like the mayor said, being woken up in the middle of the night with fire alarms going off — I'm not sure what I'd do," Bean said.
Bean also gave Langdon a certificate, three Challenge coins and the same patch he wears on his uniform, along with workers in the state Division of Fire Safety.