Five-year-old boy saves his entire family during house fire
A 5-year-old boy helped to save his family from a house fire with his heroic actions after waking up to flames.
His name is Noah Woods and he’s from Bartow County, Georgia. He will soon be named as an honorary firefighter and will be a recipient of a lifesavers award on Friday according to CTV News.
On Sunday, the family of nine was sleeping in their Bartow County home when smoke and flames woke Noah in his bedroom where his 2-year-old sister was also sleeping.
He was able to carry his sister out of a window which was the only safe way out of the room.
He then returned and grabbed the family dog from inside and ran to his uncle’s house next door to get help. He and his uncle were able to wake and alert everyone else in the house and they were all able to make it outside safely.
Dwayne Jamison, the Bartow County Fire Department Chief told CNN, “We’ve seen children alert their families before. But for a 5-year-old to be alert enough to do this … that’s pretty extraordinary.”
Jamison also noted that an electrical outlet was the cause of the fire. Noah and his family members only suffered from minor burns and some smoke inhalation.
David Woods, Noah’s grandfather, said, “By the grace of God, all nine of our loved ones were able to get out of our home. If it wasn’t for Noah, we may not be here today.”
The family has set up a GoFundMe page asking their community for support after the fire caused damage to their home. The account has generated $17,800 so far.
Brian Kemp, the Governor of Georgia, heard about Noah’s actions and he passed on a letter to Jamison to read at Friday’s ceremony.
Australia has been battling over 150 fires and is receiving more help from Canada, who has just brought another crew of workers to New South Wales. There are now four deployments it total helping to fight the fires that have taken the lives of over 20 people, scorched around 5 million hectares and are estimated to have killed over 400 million animals.
On Saturday night, twenty-one Canadians left for New South Wales. According to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC), there is a fifth deployment scheduled to leave on Monday night including an additional eight specialists.
Including previous deployments, there are 95 Canadians in total helping to fight the ongoing fires in Australia. On Jan. 9, the first deployment will be returning to Canada after 38-days. Crew members have volunteered for between 31 and 38 days.
In recent years, Australia has sent firefighters to help with the fires across B.C. and Alberta four times according to Melanie Morin, who is an information officer for CIFFC. She added that having opposite fire seasons makes sharing resources between countries more efficient.
Morin told the National Post that help from abroad is “always much appreciated.”
“When we did have big seasons out West, sometimes it starts early, and you can see the rest of the summer going ahead of you and you just have no idea when it’s going to end,” said Morin.
“So getting fresh hands, fresh eyes, people who are ready to jump in … they are a great relief and really, really a great help.”
Morin added that the workers in Australia have been fighting the fires for over 120 days in a row now.
About 100 people have been deployed by the U.S. to help the situation in New South Wales. The New South Wales Rural Fire Service already includes around 74,000 volunteers.
Members of the Canadian deployments have not been sent to fight the fires directly but to provide management and strategy as well as analyst to make predictions on the course of the fires.
So far the CIFFC has sent all of the help that Australia has requested and will do their best to provide further help if needed.
Morin mentioned that estimating the resources needed for the fires is not an easy thing to do.
“We have sent everything that we’ve been asked for,” she said, “If they ask for more from Canada … then we’ll do our best to fill that role.”
According to the NSW Rural Fire Service, about half of the 136 current fires in New South Wales are uncontained. The crews are putting their effort into the larger and more threatening fires.
A Toronto Fire Services captain remains in intensive care following a devastating fall off a burning building, sustaining “substantial” injuries.
According to Deputy Fire Chief Jim Jessop, firefighter crews were called to an abandoned house in the area of Jarvis and Shuter streets around 2 a.m. By this time, the blaze was so intense that a search of the vicinity was made impossible. The cause of the fire remains undetermined.
Jessop says that two firefighters fell from the roof of the building while trying to ventilate the building.
“They were… trying to cut holes in the roof to release the hot gases and smoke, which is normal practice for any fire,” Jessop said.
“But there was a significant volume of smoke and the firefighters thought they were stepping off onto a ledge and unfortunately there was no ledge. They ended up falling down well over three storeys.”
Paramedics immediately transported the two firefighters to the trauma centre at St. Michael’s Hospital.
One firefighter sustained a broken leg and will likely be released later Saturday.
However, the second firefighter, a captain, was less fortunate, and is currently in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
“My heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with both of our injured staff members today,” Fire Chief & General Manager of Emergency Management for the City of Toronto Matthew Pegg told reporters Saturday.
Pegg says that support will be provided for any on the fire crew who are in need of assistance.
Jessop also said, “This not uncommon,” referring to abandon buildings often catching on fire for one reason or another.
“These are the risks our firefighters, the women and men, take every day to protect the city,” he said.
Chantal Condie, a 41-year-old Edmonton mother and corporal at CFB Edmonton, has been charged with arson and the attempted murder of her three children following her husband’s divorce of her.
The incident occurred in July 2015 but wasn’t taken to court until August of this year.
Drew Condie, her ex-husband, is also a member of the military and hasn’t been able to speak publicly about his ex-wife’s alleged crime. However, he persistently advocated a criminal investigation be launched, with his lawyer saying he greatly feared for the safety of his children during unsupervised visits. Additionally, he has sued his wife for over $540,000 on behalf of his children, reports Global News.
“It should not have been buried,” said Drew Condie’s lawyer. “It should have been thoroughly investigated at the time.
“We started asking questions. We started drawing attention to it.”
“According to the civil suit, filed earlier this year, Drew and Chantal Condie were in the process of a divorce and Drew had been granted primary custody of the children, to begin July 24, 2015, after a week-long summer camp,” reports Global News.
“The lawsuit claims Chantal Condie cancelled the camp, saying the children were sick, then took them to stay at Fantasyland Hotel in West Edmonton Mall for three nights.”
Chantal Condie is alleged to have written a suicide note, attempted to force them to sleep using NyQuil, and then set the house on fire to kill her three children and herself.
Her oldest child reportedly woke up and asked her what was happening, at which point she claimed the fire was outside. Luckily, the 10-year-old boy chose to wake his siblings and instructed them to crawl out of the window to escape the fire.
“She told him that it was wildfire smoke and to go back to sleep,” Drew’s lawyer said.
“He chose to instead get his younger brother and younger sister out through the second-story window onto the roof of the entryway into the house.”
Condie was recently arrested following an investigation but was later released on bail. She is scheduled to make her first court appearance on September 19 and has been barred from using or accessing weapons while maintaining her role as corporal.
California has been struck by a sudden, massive tragedy early Monday morning after the dive-boat Conception spontaneously caught fire off the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island at 3:15 a.m.
Rescue workers searched all morning for possible survivors but have only managed to rescue five crewmembers. It is believed that many of the other passengers were sleeping when the boat caught fire. There were 33 passengers and 3 crewmembers aboard the Conception.
“The surviving crew members sought refuge on a fishing boat moored nearby, banging on the side to wake up Bob Hansen and his wife, who were sleeping onboard,” reports Global News.
“When we looked out, the other boat was totally engulfed in flames, from stem to stern,” Hansen told the New York Times. “There were these explosions every few beats. You can’t prepare yourself for that. It was horrendous.”
According to the Washington Post, 26 are confirmed dead and 20 of the bodies have been recovered; however, all 34 people who are still unaccounted for have been presumed dead.
The damage to the victims’ bodies has been horrific, and rapid DNA testing and cross referencing with family members was needed to identify each.
“The Coast Guard on Tuesday announced that it has called off further operations to find survivors, meaning the final toll likely be all 34 people who were believed to have gone down with the ship,” reports the Washington Post. “While divers work Tuesday to make the wreckage safe to extract more bodies, medical examiners will begin taking DNA samples from the relatives of victims.”
“This is probably the worst-case scenario you can possibly have,” Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown told reporters. “You have a vessel that’s on the open sea, that is in the middle of the night. I mean, it’s 3:30 in the morning.
“There was an extraordinarily hot fire and the bodies do exhibit signs of extreme thermal damage.”
Ventura County firefighters reached the boat, 20 miles off the coast of California, within 15 minutes. The entire boat was engulfed in flames by this point.
United States Coast Guard Capt. Monica Rochester says that crews and aircraft searched for a 24-hour period before suspending their investigation, as it was unlikely anyone would be found given the nature of the disaster.
“It is never an easy decision to suspend search efforts,” she said. “We know that this is a very difficult time for families and friends of the victims.”
CNN has provided a brief transcript of a mayday call between a Coast Guard dispatcher and the Conception’s captain; however, only the dispatcher’s side could be heard.
“The captain apparently reports a fire and provides a location,” reports CNN. The dispatcher can be heard saying, “And there’s 33 people on board the vessel that’s on fire, they can’t get off? … Roger, are they locked inside the boat? … Roger, can you get back on board and unlock the boat, unlock the door so they can get off? … Roger, you don’t have any firefighting gear at all? No fire extinguishers or anything?”
“Was that all the crew that jumped off,” the dispatcher asks, “… Roger, is the vessel fully engulfed right now … Roger, and there’s no escape hatch for any of the people on board?”
Eventually, he says, “I can’t breathe.”
Regarding he call between the dispatcher and the captain, Coast Guard Petty Officer Mark Barney said, “The call was garbled, it was not that clear, but we were able to get some information out of it to send vessels.”
It still isn’t clear what started the fire. However, CBC says that Coast Guard records have shown some safety violations over the last five year, including owners needing to replace a heat detector in 2016 and a leaky fire hose in 2014.
Dave Reid, an owner of an underwater camera manufacturing business, and his wife Terry Schuller have both travelled on the Conception and believes it was among the safest of vessels.
“When you see the boats, they are always immaculate,” Reid said. “I wouldn’t hesitate at all to go on one again. Of all the boat companies, that would be one of the ones I wouldn’t think this would happen to.”
“They tell you where the life jackets are, how to put them on … the exits, where the fire extinguishers are, on every single trip,” Schuller said. “They are the best, the absolute best.”
The 75-boat is owned by Truth Aquatics and was chartered by Worldwide Diving Adventures. At the time of the fire, Worldwide Diving Adventures had said on its website the Conception was on a three-day excursion to the Channel Islands, due back in Santa Barbara early Monday evening.