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Eleven-year-old hero who died saving others from fire gets Order of Courage posthumously

The boy died of burns one day after the fire
Aftermath of a fire at the Holdomi children’s tent camp Russian Emergencies Ministry's press service/TASS
Aftermath of a fire at the Holdomi children’s tent camp
© Russian Emergencies Ministry's press service/TASS

KHABAROVSK, August 13. /TASS/. Eleven-year-old Alexei Martynenko, who died trying to save other kids from a fire at a tent camp in Russia’s Khabarovsk Region, has been conferred the Order of Courage posthumously, the press service of the regional governor and government issued a statement on Tuesday.

"Alexei Martynenko, 11, who died in a fire at the Holdomi children’s tent camp, was recommended for a state decoration. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree posthumously decorating Alexei the Order of Courage for the bravery and resolve he demonstrated while trying to save others in an emergency situation," the statement reads.

The boy died of burns one day after the fire had occurred at the tent camp overnight into July 23. Alexei tried to save other kids from a burning tent. Apart from him, the blaze also killed three girls.

One day after the tragedy, residents of Alexei’s home city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur posted a petition on social media saying that the boy should be recommended for a state award. Regional Governor Sergei Fugal supported the initiative.

In addition, the presidential decree posthumously granted the medal "for saving human life" to Olga Laponikova, an educational psychologist from a school in the Nelkan community. On November 15, 2017, an L-410 passenger plane crashed while landing near the settlement. Out of seven people on board, only a three-year-old girl survived. Laponikova, who was accompanying the girl, had tightened the girl’s seat belt and covered the girl with her body.