According to authorities, this structure caught fire at 4:14 a.m. Wednesday morning. | Robert Hudson
According to authorities, this structure caught fire at 4:14 a.m. Wednesday morning. | Robert Hudson

Archived Story

Teenager saves lives during fire

Published 9:54pm Thursday, March 27, 2014

For a pair of Pace’s Point families, the actions of a young girl played a big part in saving their lives.

According to authorities, a 14-year-old girl is credited with saving the lives of two families after an early morning fire Wednesday on Holiday Drive in the Pace’s Point Community on Lake Martin.

“We got a call at about 4:14 a.m. We had two structures within 15 feet apart that were joined by a common walkway. The house on the right where the four residents were is where the little girl, who was sleeping downstairs in the basement, was,” said Jeff Henderson, chief of Pace’s Point Volunteer Fire Department. “She smelled smoke, got out of bed and opened the door. The smoke was too heavy, so she shut the door and went to get her cellphone. She instead went out the window and alerted her family who were upstairs – her mother, brother and one other person.”

Henderson said the girl’s actions allowed her family to escape from the upstairs portion of the house.

“At that time, the mother went out to get her son out, who was sleeping on a couch. They got out of the house and had to go back to get their dogs out. That lead to the rupture of a door to do that, which led to the firing accelerating,” Henderson said. “The neighbors in the house adjacent to them were also family, and the lady in the upstairs bedroom heard the commotion of the girl beating on the other house to let them know the house was on fire.”

The result, Henderson said, was the family in the adjacent house was able to get out unscathed.

Henderson said there were no injuries to the family, and a pet from the residence had some singed hair and smoke inhalation, but was taken to the vet that afternoon and was fine.

Stillwaters, Union VFD, Dadeville Fire and Camp Hill also responded along with Pace’s Point VFD.

Henderson said the quick thinking of the child, and the knowledge she gained from the Tallapoosa County Schools system played a big part in everyone escaping without injuries.

“I think it’s a tribute to the child. For one, she had been exposed to different training throughout the schools that she goes to knowing to shut that door and not go out of it and instead go out of the window,” Henderson said. “She didn’t even have to think about it. She just knew what to do. Seconds, in that situation, make all the difference in the world.”

Henderson added that it is also important that families make sure their homes are stocked with working smoke detectors.

“Those smoke alarms, I know they’re aggravating, but they turn those first seconds of reaction to minutes which in turn is a life saver,” Henderson said. “We have had five fatalities in the county so far this year. That is more than I can remember ever.”