By Suzanne Le Mignot

ROSELLE, Ill. (CBS) — John Little is 22 years old and has his first teaching job – and he wasn’t going to let a house fire get in the way of teaching his students remotely.

As CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reported Tuesday, Little, of Roselle, was teaching from home recently on a regular day of e-learning for his fifth and sixth grade students at St. Mary Catholic School in Buffalo Grove.

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But then his brother told him: “‘Hey, we got to leave the house!’ and I’m like: ‘Why? What’s going on?’ and I turn around there was just smoke coming in and I’m like, ‘Oh my goodness!’”

Little left his house, but didn’t forget to bring his laptop to continue teaching his social studies class.

“The neighbors were kind enough to share their wi-fi with me, so I was able to do the next class,” he said.

Just how did Little have the presence of mind to leave his burning house and continue teaching?

“You know, I didn’t even really think too much about it,” he said. “I just went over there, and I knew that I couldn’t leave the kids hanging.”

A concerned parent called the school to let the principal know what happened.

“I was pretty impressed that he had the wherewithal to take his laptop out with him and then to get back online with his third-period class,” said St. Mary Catholic School Principal Kris Gritzmacher.

Student A.J. Crociata wondered why Mr. Little was outside. It was 30 degrees.

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“Who was taking care of the house?” A.J. said.

A.J.’s mother, Jennifer Warren, said of Little: “He’s very dedicated to the students. He put them before himself.”

Roselle Fire Chief Mark Bozik responded to the fire with crews.

“He ran out of the house to teach the class – didn’t have shoes on,” Bozik said.

Bozik says his daughter is a teacher. He was touched by Little’s commitment to his students.

“It was just awesome to see,” Bozik said. “We need more people like this in the world that are as dedicated as they are to teach our students and to get through this pandemic.”

Bozik said the fire was put out quickly, the house was saved – and Mr. Little will not only be able to have a good Christmas, but can still teach his beloved students remotely from home.

While the cause of the front porch fire was not known as of late Tuesday, it is believed it may have been caused by Christmas lights.

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Suzanne Le Mignot