A little girl, a Boy Scout and a firefighter went to a party Thursday that was thrown just for them.
They were called heroes. They were applauded by hundreds. They were given awards and pats on the back, and they were interviewed by the local media.
"I'm no hero," said Quentin Aukeman, who is so a hero. "I wish I was not here. I wish those kids were still alive and I would fade into anonymity."
Aukeman, who rushed into a burning building to try to save three kids, was one of 11 people honored as Everyday Heroes on Thursday by the local chapter of the America Red Cross.
"They're people making a difference in the community," said Jennifer Ramieh, the local Red Cross' chief development officer. "They are ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things."
He's a fire captain at the Nevada National Security Site, which used to be called the test site. He was on his way home in Pahrump one day last February when he saw smoke rising into the air.
He stopped to help. Flames were visible. Neighbors had gathered. One had a garden hose.
Is anyone inside? Aukeman asked.
My babies! There was a baby in the crib, he was told, two other kids and an adult inside.
He climbed in through a window, no firefighting equipment with him. He crawled and felt along the wall to be sure he would be able to get back out. He found what he thought was the crib. He felt around.
He couldn't breathe.
He heard a baby crying.
He couldn't see.
He felt around some more. He began to choke. He thought he was going to die.
He could not find his way out. He was confused. A gust of wind came in through the window, letting him know the way out.
He turned around and left. He had to.
The three children and the adult, a family friend, died.
He did not accomplish everything he wanted to accomplish, but that does not make Aukeman any less a hero.
Because to say that would mean almost no one's a hero.
Take Dean Christoph Glover, who is 12 and who doesn't want homeless people to suffer. That is an impossible task.
But he is trying.
Three years ago, when he was just 9, he and his parents were going to the children's museum near downtown Las Vegas. He saw a bunch of people in tents.
He figured they were teenagers goofing around, camping in the city. He asked his dad who they were.
They're homeless people, his dad said. They have nowhere else to go. They don't own anything. They have no money.
They must be cold, Dean figured. So, he took his blanket off his bed and approached his dad.
"Can you give this to the homeless?" he asked.
Soon, he began to collect blankets for them. He started a drive. He called it Christoph's Cause.
Now, every December, he does the drive again. He has collected thousands of blankets and coats for the homeless.
"It just seems like the right thing to do," he said.
Same for Alicia Juarez, who is 5 and is in kindergarten. A while back, her brother, Sergio, who is 16, was diagnosed with leukemia. Eventually, he needed a bone marrow transplant.
Everyone in his family was tested. Alicia matched.
She decided to donate. That's a tough process, involving hours and hours of extraction through a hole in your hip bone.
"She was great," said her mom, Claudia. "She never complained because she knew what she was doing it for."
There were plenty of others honored Thursday.
A cancer doctor who is pushing the boundaries.
A regular Joe who performed CPR on a beating victim.
Even a dog named Duffy who woke his family when the house caught fire.
Duffy saved their lives.
Contact reporter Richard Lake at email@example.com or 702-383-0307.