Boys awarded for heroic action in house fire

Three Boy Scouts used training to evacuate selves, family

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FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Three Boy Scouts were able to safely evacuate their home thanks to training they received from the Forsyth County Fire Department.

The Boy Scouts were recognized with a “Good Citizen Award” April 18 for safely evacuating a house that caught fire.

On March 17, Ian O’Dowd, 9, had troop members Anthony and Joseph Jambro, 8, identical twins, overnight at his home in the Blackstock Mill neighborhood off Benefield Road in Cumming.

Sometime around 6 a.m., Anthony awoke to the smell of smoke.

He woke up Joseph and Ian. The boys snapped into action, found Ian’s mother, Donna, and evacuated the house safely as a group.

“All three of them have learned about exit drills in the home through Boy Scouts and visiting the fire departments,” said Laura Coleman, fire prevention training officer.

The accidental fire started in the garage and heavily damaged half of the house. The room where the boys slept was directly above the garage. The fire destroyed the room, Coleman said.

Coleman said the fire department held this ceremony to honor the young Scouts for their courage in such a stressful situation and to exemplify the random nature of fire.

“Fire does not discriminate,” Coleman said. “The biggest thing about this is getting people to realize that it can happen at anytime.”

Family, friends, Boy Scout troops and school counselors of Daves Creek Elementary, where the boys attend, watched as the department gave each of the local heroes a Good Citizen Award certificate and a fire department patch and pin.

Participants heard speeches from Etowah District Executive Tom Atkinson and Battalion Chief Michael Sheuring, who was on scene the morning of the fire.

Coleman said that children at county schools are aware of emergency drills, because schools practice them at least once a month. Coleman recommends taking the drills beyond the school and into the home, where it can be of use.

“Everyone needs to practice their fire drills in the home,” Coleman said. “You’re more likely to be safe if you practice it, have a plan and talk about it openly.”