An accident nearly doomed a Missouri family the night of the Fourth of July—but luckily, an unlikely hero was the first one to notice and step up to save the day.
It was just past midnight on July 5. Darwin Wallace, 12, was with his family in their home in St. Louis County. Everyone was sleeping—until something woke Darwin up.
“We all was asleep … the tree started hitting on my window and I woke up,” he told KMOV.
Suddenly, he realized what was happening:
The house was on fire.
With all his loved ones still sleeping, Darwin immediately got to work alerting the family and getting them to safety.
“[I] took my nephew, put him on my neck and then I went to go get everybody else up,” he said.
There was no time to lose. The family got their grandma from the basement and fled from the fire, resorting to breaking down the backyard fence just to get away from the flames.
While their home was completely destroyed, everyone got out safe.
Through a combination of fire and water damage, all the family’s possessions were destroyed, and they’ve set up a GoFundMe page to pay for necessities.
Surveillance video shows young people setting off fireworks in front of the home. It’s believed that a spark from the fireworks ignited a bag of clothing on the stoop—the family had planned to donate the clothing to the homeless—and a fire spread from there.
Darwin says the tragedy should be a wake-up call for people setting off dangerous fireworks.
“If you are going to pop them on other peoples’ porches that’s just wrong because you don’t know who’s in that house and you can kill somebody like you almost killed us,” the boy said.
But while the family suffered a catastrophe, they’re all still alive and safe, thanks to the quick thinking of this 12-year-old hero.
“Thank god, we’re all safe though,” Darwin said.