12-year-old saved 4 siblings, helped nanny extinguish fire while parents were on vacation

Austin West

NORTH NAPLES, Fla. — A Florida family was safe after a mini fridge caught fire in their home, thanks to 12-year-old Austin West.

“I just wanted to get them out of the house real quick and put it out,” said West.

West was up past his bedtime playing Xbox when he smelled something burning. After realizing it was coming from his brother’s bedroom, he quickly woke up all four of his siblings and brought them downstairs.

“Then, Austin took the nanny to show her where the fire extinguisher was, and the two of them came back up and put out the fire together,” said Jennie West, Austin’s mom.

“I told her to pull the pin, because she was really, really nervous. She pulled the pin and put the fire out,” said Austin West.

Jennie and her husband Dave were on vacation. It was a parent’s worst nightmare.

“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 OK,” said Jennie West.

Thankfully, their nanny, Mary, and their son, Austin, took down the flames with a fire extinguisher.

“You tell them stuff about like, fire, or where the fire extinguisher was, but I guess he was listening. He knew where the fire extinguisher was and he did it,” said Jennie West.

Officials with the North Naples Fire Department said had another two minutes gone by, the outcome would’ve been very different. The West family installed more smoke detectors as a precaution. They said they planned to contact the company that made the mini fridge to find out what caused this fire.

Jennie West said the biggest takeaway as a parent of five children was this:

“As much fighting as we have going on among the boys, the first thing he (Austin) did was protect his family, and I think that was pretty profound.”

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