4-year-old Alerts Mom to Fire in Cedar Falls Home
By Addison Speck, Reporter
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — A four-year-old boy saved his family from an early morning fire. “He started just freaking out so I came out and saw all the flames,” said Ashley Hannan, the mother of 4-year-old Rylee Nolan. Cedar Falls firefighters were called to Hannan’s home around 6 a.m. Thursday. The home is in the 700 block of West Ridgeway Avenue. They arrived to find everyone safe, thanks to one of the smallest members of the family.
Rylee may be small and young, but knew what to do in a scary situation. He is a four-year-old fearless bicycle rider who turned into a hero. It was his quick instincts that saved his life and three other members of his family. “The fire department said if he didn’t wake us up we would’ve probably died in our sleep,” said Hannan.
KCRG asked Rylee what he did when he first smelt the fire. “I woke up my mommy and daddy,” said Rylee. “He kept saying it stinks really bad in his room. I just thought he was dreaming, like I really didn’t think there was a fire until I actually ran out and saw flames,” added Hannan.
Rylee and his little brother Landon were sleeping in the same room where the electrical fire started. “He usually wakes up in the middle of the night and comes to sleep on our floor and for some reason he didn’t last night” said Hannan. Rylee said he tried to wake his little brother up but couldn’t. If the fire had happened just a few days ago, it could have been much worse for Landon. “We had just rearranged their bedroom around otherwise the head of his crib would have been right where the fire started,” said Hannan.
Hannan said they have briefly talked about an emergency plan before, but never expected their adventurous 4-year-old would have to put it to use. “I just think it’s crazy to think that if it wasn’t for him we could all not even be here,” said Hannan. KCRG asked Rylee if he thought it was cool he saved his family’s life, his response was yes.
The smoke detectors did go off in the home. But Cedar Falls Firefighters want to remind people to check their smoke alarms every month. Rylee’s quick thinking also serves as a reminder to talk to children about what they should do in an emergency situation.
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