A mother and father in Southwest Florida are thankful that their 12-year-old son was able to take control of a scary situation while they were away. Austin West, after smelling fire, was able to get all of his siblings to safety, and extinguish the flames with the help of the family's nanny. According to the North Naples Fire Department, if his actions had occurred just two minutes later, this story would not have had such a positive ending.
Austin was up late playing X-Box with his friends online when he smelled plastic burning, according to Fox 4. He was able to deduce the smell was coming from his brothers' room, the result of a spark from a mini fridge.
He then woke up his three brothers and sent them outside, and went into his little sister's room to carry her out. Once safe, Austin returned to the room with his nanny, Mary, with a fire extinguisher.
"You tell them stuff about like fire or where the fire extinguisher was, but I guess he was listening," Jennie West, Austin's mother, told the station. “He knew where the fire extinguisher was and he did it.” Jennie and her husband, Dave, had been out of town on vacation at the time.
"I told [Mary] to pull the pin [of the fire extinguisher] because she was really, really nervous... she pulled the pin and put the fire out," Austin explained.
The mom Jennie said: "We felt powerless because we were stuck. We couldn't get back to town, we were stuck, our hands were tied, and that was extremely hard to sit there and hope everything was okay."
Following the incident, the Wests installed more smoke detectors in their home. They also plan to contact the manufacturers of the mini fridge to find out what caused the fire.
"As much fighting as we have going on amongst the boys, the first thing [Austin] did was protect his family, and I think that was pretty profound," Jennie said.
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