CLEARFIELD, CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Cooper Best enjoys being outside.

“I’m always making it,” the 9-year-old said while playing basketball in his backyard.

Cooper after firefighters responded to his neighbors home

He’s out in the sun and even in the snow.

“I get like ice cold and I am still running around in it,” he smiled.

At the end of last month, Cooper, per usual, was outside playing football with a friend when he noticed something wrong.

“I saw smoke come out of the window and then it was a fire,” Cooper explained. “So I screamed ‘fire, fire’ and I ran back and told my dad and he called 911.”

“I was in the back yard splitting wood,” Tyler Best, Cooper’s dad, said. “He came out and was like, ‘dad there is a fire across the street!'”

Cooper and his family on their front porch

In a situation where seconds matter, Cooper acted fast. Inside the home that caught fire, which is now surrounded by yellow caution tape, was his neighbor trapped inside.

“Then the neighbors up there said there was a lady upstairs,” Tyler told us. “So I hurried up and got a hold of someone else who came and helped me and we kicked in the door and we went up and tried to get her.”

If it wasn’t for Cooper’s quick thinking, the outcome could have been tragic.

Council President, Stephanie Tarbay & Mayor Mason Strouse with Cooper after getting his award

It’s a day the 9-year-old and his little sister, Piper, will never forget.

“I’m super proud,” Piper said.

His good deed continues to get praise. Cooper was just recently given the outstanding community member award for making a positive impact in Clearfield Borough.

“That’s why we wanted to honor Cooper especially,” Stephanie Tarbay, Clearfield Borough Council President, said. “To make sure that people know that there are good things happening in Clearfield.”

The Clearfield Fire Department said if Cooper would not have seen the fire, we could have an entirely different story. They thank him for everything he did that night.

Fire Chief, Andrew Smith, talks with Cooper

“All of us down at the fire company are very proud of him,” Andrew Smith, Clearfield Fire Department Fire Chief, said. “We look forward to him joining us maybe here when he turns 16.”

Cooper said that one day he wants to be a firefighter.

“Because you can save people’s lives,” Cooper explained.

It’s hard to tell what would’ve happened if Cooper wasn’t outside playing that day, but what we can tell is that this future firefighter is well on his way to saving many more lives.

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Reach out to Maggie Smolka if you know someone or an organization that’s making it matter in the community. You can email or message her on Facebook.