A Young Girl’s Brave Act Reminds Families of the Need to Plan

There are many things we don’t like to think about, but we must prepare for.

Tragedies occur every day, and when you become a parent, the worries – and the need for planning — seem to increase.

Heroes also emerge every day, and a recent story will touch your heart while bringing up a point for discussion with everyone in your household.

One of the worst tragedies a family can experience is a house fire.

The enormous financial damage can take years to recover from, and the emotional trauma can last a lifetime.

All that really matters in the end is that everyone in the family makes it out safely, and this is where the story of a brave young girl comes in.

Nineteen-year-old Tatianna Wilson woke up to the terror of finding her family’s Chicago home on fire in the early hours of a recent morning.

Ten people and two dogs were in the home at the time, and Tatianna rushed outside to safety thinking that everyone else had gotten out as well.

But that’s when she heard a bone-chilling noise — her 4-year-old brother crying from his upstairs bedroom.

Although first responders were on their way, Tatianna couldn’t bear to wait.  She saw the house becoming more and more engulfed and ran back inside.

She rushed through flames and smoke to the upper level of the home, grabbed little Davarion, and got them both to safety.

But not without injury.

Although Tatianna first escaped the fire unscathed, she suffered major burns on her rescue mission.  Paramedics had arrived by the time she got back outside, and both she and her brother were taken to the hospital in serious condition.

Tatianna’s family, as well as everyone in the community, is calling the young girl a hero for her selfless actions.

Without a second thought, she spared her family the agony of losing a child.

“She could have just left out of the house, and tried to protect herself, but she’d rather risk her life for others,” said her adult sister, according to Café Mom.

Nearly 3,500 people died in house fires in the U.S. in both 2016 and 2017.

Fire departments and federal agencies like the U.S. Fire Administration work every day to help families prepare for and recover from house fires.

The first of their recommendations is, of course, prevention – checking outdated wiring, never leaving candles or fires unattended, not smoking in the home, and other hazards that should always be on people’s minds.

Every home should have working smoke detectors in each bedroom, the kitchen, and on every floor of the home, whether they contain sleeping areas or not.

Each home should have fire extinguishers readily available in areas like the kitchen and garage where fires are more likely to start.

And most importantly, every family should have a fire evacuation plan.  This plan should be reviewed with the entire family several times a year, particularly as children grow and learn about safety.

Two exits from the home should be determined, and parents should do “fire drills” with their children several times a year, teaching kids to stay low to the ground and how to “Stop, Drop, and Roll.”

Each family should have a safe meeting place determined in case they get separated.  It can be a neighbor’s house, or the mailbox or certain landmark in the yard if it is far enough away from the home to be safe from the fire.

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Take a head count and stay together so that first responders can prioritize their first course of action upon their arrival.

But Tatianna Wilson’s brave act leads to another point of discussion during family fire safety planning.

While she is truly a hero, parents should warn children that once they get out of the house safely, they are never to go back in – not for a pet, not for a cherished stuffed animal, not for any reason.

To help alleviate fears if you have a small child, call your local fire department and set up a “field trip.”

They will gladly meet with your family, show your children their equipment and uniforms, and help you with a home safety checklist.

Planning, preparing, and practicing should be a priority for all families.

These tips are not only a good idea in the case of a house fire, but for natural disasters like tornados and earthquakes that may occur in your area.

Making sure that every family member – especially small children – knows what to do in a panic situation will ensure that everyone stays safe.

Do you have a family fire plan?  What are some of your tips for teaching small children what to do in case of a house fire?   Leave us your comments.