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Fire Safety Messages Save Lives

Firefighters spraying water.

Duck Lake, Michigan

Five-year-old Cherie Kendall of Duck Lake, Michigan, paid close attention during Holton Elementary School’s fire safety classes. The firefighters’ lessons of “Stop, Drop and Roll” and “Go tell somebody if you see a fire” came in handy when a fire broke out at the home of Cherie’s babysitter.

“I wasn’t scared because I knew what to do,” said Cherie, who awakened her sleeping babysitter and carried her 1-year-old sister out of the burning house.

Fire Chief of Holton Township, Art Stevens, praised Cherie for her bravery and composure during the fire, which was caused when the babysitter’s 3-year-old son set his bedding on fire while playing with a lighter. No one was hurt in the blaze.

“This little girl showed outstanding heroism and stayed calm,” said Stevens. “Kids that age sometimes panic and go and hide in a bedroom where they feel safe. Cherie did not do that, and it shows us our program is working.”

Ambulance at night

Owosso, Michigan

Shawn Hall, 7, of Owosso, Michigan, received second- and third-degree burns over 18 percent of his body when a fire resulted from his playing with a cigarette lighter in the upstairs bathroom of a friend’s apartment. However, it could have been much worse.

Twelve-year-old Eric Rogers was watching television downstairs in his family’s apartment where he and Shawn stayed after school while their mothers were at work. Eric heard the smoke alarm go off. He ran upstairs and saw Shawn running toward him with his clothes on fire, the bathroom behind him also in flames.

“All I could think of was to get the flames out,” said Eric. “I remembered this fire safety book I got when I was in the first or second grade.” “I got him on the floor and made him roll until the flames were out,” he said. “I’m just glad he wasn’t burned as bad as he could have been."

Burning building.

Ville Platte, Louisiana

The Ville Platte, Louisiana Fire Department got a fire call one morning and arrived on the scene to find three houses ablaze. Anna Mae Jones, an 11-year-old student at James Stephens Elementary School, helped rescue 11 people from the burning homes.

Louisiana State Fire Marshal Robert LaBorde said, “With the help of God, Anna led these people to safety. So many times I have seen people die in terrible ways. We have had to carry out big and little bodies. Thanks to Anna, this story has a happy ending."

"Anna’s bravery sends us a strong message,” said Ronnie Smith, Ville Platte Fire Chief. “Children must know escape routes in case of fires. We also need to continue our fire safety education programs.”


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