'Ellen' surprises Troutdale teen fire hero

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by KGW Staff

KREM.com

Posted on October 2, 2012 at 9:53 PM

TROUTDALE, Ore. -- A teen hero from Troutdale got some time in the national spotlight during a guest appearance on “Ellen,” Tuesday.

Marcos Ugarte, 14, made local headlines when he pulled his 7-year-old neighbor from a burning home. The Troutdale teen said he didn't even think twice when he risked his own life to save the boy.

He set up and climbed up a ladder to a second-floor window to bring the boy down to safety last week.

Background: Teen saves 7-year-old neighbor from Troutdale fire

“We climbed down the ladder together,” Ugarte told Ellen DeGeneres. “And he was secure.”  At this, the crowd erupted in applause.

Ugarte said he was nervous on the big-time talk show, but appeared to be having fun. A big grin stretched across his young face almost the entire time he chatted with comedian Ellen DeGeneres.

The Gresham High student’s proud parents watched from the audience as he recounted the rescue.  Ugarte also wore his high school football jersey and talked about his defensive position on the Gresham team.

At the end of their chat, DeGeneres shared a big surprise with Ugarte. She awarded him with a $10,000 check to put toward his future education. He said he thinks he wants to be a firefighter now.

"I didn't even believe it [the check], I looked back and my mom was crying and my dad just started smiling and it was just a great feeling," Ugarte told KGW after the show.

Ellen also told Marcos that the Oregon Ducks wanted him to have tickets and a VIP package to go to two games.  Ugarte beamed and said the Ducks are his favorite team.

More: Ellen web site (Warning - this might ruin your surprise)

 

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