11-year-old Scout cooly notifies 911, alerts neighbors to shed fire

Tue, 09/08/2009 - 3:36pm
By: Letters to the ...

I’m writing to let you know about an explosion and shed fire that occurred Sept. 1, 2009, in Peachtree City and the heroic actions of our 11-year-old son to call 911 and the immediate response by emergency personnel that saved at least one home from being consumed.

Nathaniel, our son, put his Scouting skills and quick, decisive action into practice during an emergency in which he called 911 immediately after an explosion resulted in our neighbor’s shed being engulfed in flames.

Nathaniel was home alone recovering from a minor illness when at approximately 12:30 p.m. he heard the explosion that he said was louder than a firecracker but not as loud as a small bomb.

He went out to investigate and saw out neighbor’s shed engulfed in flames. He immediately brought our dogs in from the yard, grabbed the phone and called 911.

While waiting for them to answer the call, he went from house to house (in our cul-de-sac of four homes) to get help from an adult. The only adult neighbor home did not answer their door when he rang the bell.

The 911 operator answered the call and he gave them the needed information to trigger emergency vehicle response. Our neighbor, Dave, from up the street saw the smoke and ran down to see if any of us had a key to the house with the burning shed so that he could get their animals out safely in case the house caught fire.

The emergency vehicles responded within 10 minutes and Dave took Nathaniel to safety while the fire was doused.

With the information that Nathaniel had provided to fire and police personnel, they determined the fire to be caused by exploding golf cart batteries.

Our neighbors were very thankful to Nathaniel. Their shed is within 25 feet of their house and the heat from the fire had caused their house siding to warp.

The skills he has learned from Scouting definitely contributed to the calmness he displayed in a critical situation. Although the shed and its contents were a total loss, his quick response potentially saved our neighbor’s house from further damage and prevented two neighboring homes in the area from being damaged.

Phillip Highfill

Peachtree City, Ga.

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