A seven-year-old girl saved her family home from a spontaneous fire with the knowledge she learnt during a fire safety programme at school.
Tauranga Primary School student Lucy Crawford met with firefighters from Greerton Fire Brigade on Thursday where she was presented with a certificate for her exceptional knowledge of fire safety.
Firefighters Tyrel Katu and Richard Moreland with Lucy Crawford, 7, who saved her family home from a fire. Photo:Tracy Hardy.
Lucy saved her family home from being engulfed with her quick-thinking actions after the family car’s engine caught fire in the garage of their Gate Pa home in May.
Tauranga fire safety officer Ken McKegg says firefighters were so impressed with Lucy’s knowledge they decided to present her with a certificate of appreciation.
“You’re a brave little girl,” says Ken.
Lucy was oblivious to the extent of her heroic efforts until yesterday, but her mother, Anna Crawford, was full of praise.
Anna and her two daughters – Lucy, 7, and Sophie, 9, - arrived home on the evening of Monday, May 7 and parked the car in the indoor garage of their Wellesley Grove home, located directly under the lounge.
Upon parking the car Lucy spotted smoke, and then flames, coming from under the bonnet.
Lucy immediately got her sister out of the car and told her mother to go outside and call 111.
Anna, who hadn’t seen the smoke, says she didn’t know what to do and was tossing up between opening the bonnet, going upstairs to get the fire extinguisher, or starting the car up to drive it outside.
“I just panicked. I just had so many things going through my head.”
She says had it not been for the quick, mature actions of her daughter, they would have lost their home to the fire.
“If she hadn’t noticed it, we would have gone upstairs and at that point.”
Greerton senior station officer Richard Moreland says by the time firefighters arrived at the home the garage was “fully engulfed” in flames.
He says if it wasn’t for Lucy’s quick thinking the house would not have survived.
Richard says it clearly shows that fire safety programmes taught in schools, even at a primary age level, are crucial.
Fire Safety programmes teach students what do to in an event of an emergency including calling emergency services on 111, and teaching the “get down, get low, get out” motto.
“She was basically telling her mother everything she had learnt from that, which from our point of view basically highlights the fact that the programmes is working within the schools.”
Richard says the importance of basic fire knowledge is under-rated.
“The simple stuff works. We always try push back to the school it’s time to do it again half the time we get a no. It does work.”
Anna says she can’t thank firefighters enough.
“The Fire Service’s prompt response, professionalism, courteousness and compassion far exceeded any expectations I had.”