07/26/2012 12:53 pm ET Updated Nov 20, 2012

Brandi Odom, 9-Year-Old Alabama Girl, Drowns Rescuing Brother At Pond

The family of 9-year-old Brandi Odom is hailing her as a hero after she bravely saved her younger brother from drowning at Alabama's Bear Creek pond on Sunday.

Following the rescue, Brandi lost her footing, slipped into deep water and drowned, ABC News reports.

The chief of the Bear Creek Fire Department, Robert Taylor, says Brandi was swimming with her brothers, ages 7 and 6, late Sunday afternoon when the older boy got into deep water. She went out and pulled her brother by the arm to safety, but then she became trapped and went under, according to ABC.

According to Taylor, Brandi's grandmother performed CPR on the girl until rescue workers arrived. Paramedics later rushed her to Lakeland Community Hospital in Haleyville, where she was pronounced dead.

“This is a tragedy but she gave her life to save her little brother. She is a hero,” Taylor told the North Jefferson News.

But Brandi’s mother, Paula, said the children weren’t even supposed to be in the pond, which is located behind their grandparents’ house.

“They were supposed to be waiting for their grandmother before they went in, but they didn’t,” Paula said in an interview with the North Jefferson News.

Brandi was a student at Gardendale Elementary School, according to an obituary on the Dignity Memorial website, the funeral home where she will be memorialized on Friday. She was slated to enter the fourth grade next month.



PHOTOS: Odom Family /Dignity Memorial

Brandi Odom