When 14-year-old Marcos Ugarte saved an eight-year-old child from a burning house, he wasn’t thinking about reward or recognition. But his bravery has inspired thousands of people — including Ellen Degeneres, who gave the young hero a major surprise on her show yesterday.
When the second story of his neighbor’s home broke into flames last week, trapping young Cory Ma inside, the Oregon high school freshman quickly climbed a ladder and pulled the boy out of the window. Ugarte explained to Ellen the details of how he saved the child, and why the incident has made him want to become a firefighter.
“I can’t say I really consider myself a hero,” Ugarte told the Oregonian after the incident. “I think anyone would have done what I did.”
But many others do consider Ugarte to be a hero. Ellen honored Ugarte with tickets and a VIP package to see his favorite college football team, the Oregon Ducks — and a $10,000 cheque to start his college savings.
Watch the video above to see Ugarte’s touching reaction, and for more amazing surprises from Ellen, check out this clip of her touching gift to 13-year-old cancer patient and aspiring makeup artist Talia Castellano.