Originally created 12/07/00

City honors teen's heroism



Mayor Bob Young honored a 16-year-old Augusta boy Wednesday for helping three people escape a burning house in October.

Antoine Vaughn was named a "citizen of character" for bravery during the rescue of his foster parent Daisy Johnson, 77; her sister-in-law Mary Bell Johnson, 87; and 13-year-old Shaqunta Calles.

"The demonstration of bravery and benevolence shown during the rescue of his family from fire should be held as a model for all Augusta," said Mr. Young, reading from a proclamation presented to Antoine at the ceremony.

Antoine and the others were asleep when a fire broke out around midnight Oct. 13 in the kitchen of Daisy Johnson's house on the 500 block of Walton Way.

Mrs. Johnson said she heard the smoke alarm but was confused because of the smoke in the room, so she lay back down until Antoine insisted she get up. He then woke Shaqunta and Mary Bell Johnson. Shaqunta said she, too, had heard the alarm but went back to sleep until Antoine made her get up and get out of the house.

She said Antoine, a junior at the Academy of Richmond County, saved their lives.

Antoine is now living with his father, Army Sgt. Tony Vaughn, who said he was very proud of his son.

Since the fire, Antoine said, he has received an award from his school.

"My whole school was very supportive because I did lose a lot of my stuff," he said. "Everybody supported me and donated clothes and money. People I didn't even know. It was really great. Everybody knows me now, and I look forward to going to school now."

Reach Sylvia Cooper at (706) 823-3228.