Teen risks his life to carry his great-grandfather out of burning house: 'I wasn't thinking, I just went'

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -- By the time fire crews got to the scene, the Federal Way home was fully engulfed. But not before one brave teenage boy risked his life to save his great-grandpa.

"It felt like when there's a paper bag over your head and you're trying to breathe but you can't," said Parker Ewing, 15.

Parker doesn't want to be called a hero.

"There's somebody yelling for help in a burning house, my first instinct was to run in there. I wasn't thinking, I just went."

But his mom, Tiffany, says, "He would risk his own life and not even think about it. He didn't even think twice."

Parker says smoke filled the hallway of their Federal Way home Friday.

"I ran outside. I took the dogs with me. I busted through my glass door and then my pop-pop was yelling from his room, 'Help, help, I can't breathe.' So I ran back in, put him on my shoulders. My dog was with me and we started carrying him out."

He says his great-grandfather, Thomas Finckel, 79, who suffers from COPD, was asleep when the fire started.

"I had to get my pop-pop out there cause he has really bad lungs. He was a smoker, but he stopped a while ago. He's on oxygen and everything. I couldn't just leave him there, he was yelling for help."

Parker says his dog, T-Bone, helped him navigate through the thick, black smoke as he carried his grandfather through the house. But he collapsed just a foot from the front door.

"The last thing I remember was my dog lying next to me after I collapsed and then it was just black. And then I woke up in the hospital."

Tiffany says Parker and his great-grandfather were taken to the hospital unresponsive, in critical condition. She says Parker spent time in a hyperbaric chamber.

"It was the scariest thing in the world that I might  lose him," she said.

Parker finally woke up on Saturday, only to learn his great-grandfather had died hours earlier.

"You take a lot of things for granted until you don't have them," Parker said.

Tiffany is grateful her son is alive -- and now they're just trying to get by.

"I've been a wreck getting him home and trying to plan funeral arrangements for the other one, trying to find a place to live. It's been really difficult."

But Parker doesn't regret trying to save his pop-pop.

"I'm feeling good that I at least got my grandfather 12 more hours to say his goodbyes to the family. But I was asleep for a day and a half so I didn't get to say my goodbyes, but I helped him."

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Family friends are putting the family up in a hotel for the next two weeks. But after that, they are not sure what they will do.

If you would like to help them, click here for a link to their Go Fund Me account.