Young Hero

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Four-year-old Dayton Gallagher got a special treat on Thursday, a ride in a fire truck. But it was almost two months ago that he was a hero himself.

On July 1, a raging fire put eight families out their homes at The Royal Arms Apartments, including Dayton’s. He noticed the blaze from his room. His family lost everything in the fire but is alive, thanks to Dayton.

Thursday, the Panama City Fire Department honored Dayton with a heroism and bravery award along with toys and a personalized helmet. They also gave him a chance to see what life is like for a real firefighter.

He now has a place to live and the community has given his family donations and clothing. Through all this fanfare and fuss, Dayton just smiles, enjoying the moment. There is hope that one day he'll realize how much of a hero he really is.

Thursday's ride was very special. The fire department has only allowed three or four civilians to ride on a fire truck over the last 13 years.