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Lyndonville girls honored for preventing house fire

Posted 13 September 2014 at 12:00 am

Dog saved, home spared thanks to quick thinking

Photo by Sue Cook – Lyndonville Assistant Chief Ben Bane, left, is pictured with Mya Heideman, Alia Childs, Emily Brown and Chief Jason Gerety.

By Sue Cook, staff reporter

LYNDONVILLE – Three Lyndonville girls were recognized by the Lyndonville Fire Department for acting quickly to prevent a house fire.

Mya Heideman, 9, Alia Childs, 10, and Emily Brown, 11, were out last Monday evening when they saw a dog in a home on Maple Avenue with foggy looking windows. They could hear the smoke detectors inside going off. The girls raced home to Alia’s house on adjacent Lynwood Drive and had her mother, Holly Childs, call 9-1-1.

The fire department sent two trucks to investigate. Upon opening the front door, the dog trapped inside ran out. The entire first floor was engulfed in smoke. Their investigation revealed food burning on the stove had accidentally been left cooking by the homeowner. The dog was retrieved later that night, suffering no apparent ill effects from the smoke.

Fire Chief Jason Gerety said the home was very near catching fire and that the girls’ fast response saved the life of the dog, as well as the house. He presented them with framed awards on Friday evening, saying, “Your community thanks you. It could have been a lot worse than it was.”

“You did the right thing,” he continued. “Never hesitate to call 9-1-1 or tell a grown up. If that had gone a little bit longer, that dog wouldn’t have made it out of the house and the homeowner would have been burying her pet. You guys recognized it and did the right thing and I’m proud of you.”

Chief Gerety then suggested that the girls do one more step next time if they ever need to call 9-1-1 again.

“There’s only one thing you might have done different,” he said. “If you think of it, try and grab the house number next time.”

The girls hadn’t thought to get the house number and had described which street the home was on and said it was the “house with the gnomes.” Immediately, the Chief knew which home they were talking about and they went straight there.

Holly Childs, Alia’s mother, said, “I’m really proud of the girls. They acted really fast.”

Homeowner Rose Carter was in attendance at the award ceremony. She shares the home with her fiance, Eric Morton, who was not home at the time of the incident.

“I left chicken on the stove and forgot about it and went to Lockport,” Carter said. “When I came back the fire company was there. They said these girls, heroes of mine, rescued the dog. They called 9-1-1. These are my heroes right here. I can’t thank them enough.”

The girls all agreed that it felt really good to be called heroes. Their advice to anyone that ever thinks there might be a problem like a fire is to just call 9-1-1.