Firefighters are normally the ones who are hailed heroes for their bravery in the face of danger, but New Hampshire firefighters are calling one 8-year-old boy a hero for what he did before they arrived.
On July 23, John Holt discovered a fire had started in his barn, which was connected to the family’s home. Holt immediately called 911, then handed the phone to his 8-year-old son, Harrison. While Holt tried to put out the fire, Harrison calmly spoke to the dispatcher, ran into the living room to grab his 11-month-old sister, and then met his brother in the front yard by an oak tree, which was their designated meeting spot in case of an emergency.
“Harrison was standing next to him [Patrick] and had Marie under one arm and the phone in the other arm,” said Holt, who went to the safe spot when he realized he couldn’t put the fire out himself. “Both of them were completely calm, especially holding Marie. [Harrison] carries her a lot so he had her wedged under one arm.”
For the next 20 minutes, Holt and his kids watched their house burn to the ground as they waited for the nearest fire department, which is in another town, to arrive and help. “It was a surreal experience,” Holt said. “It’s quite extraordinary,” said Chief Bud Chapman of the Milan Fire Department. “His actions saved the life of his sister.”
To recognize Harrison’s bravery, the Milan Fire Department awarded him with a department badge and initiated him as an honorary firefighter. “He’s [also] getting a personalized, authentic one so he’s very excited. He’s hoping he can keep both so he can give one to his brother,” Holt said. “When something like this happens you step back and you say, ‘Wow he’s so kind, so considerate, he thinks about everyone else before himself.'”
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[Featured image: Today/New Hampshire Union Leader]