Boy uses lessons learned at school to save family from fire - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Boy uses lessons learned at school to save family from fire


A 7-year-old Chesterfield boy is getting special honors after saving his family from a fire. When little Tripp Harris' house went up in flames last month, lives were on the line, but firefighters say Tripp knew just what to do.

The doors were locked, the family couldn't find the keys to get out. The fire and smoke was growing. Christine Yarwood-Harris said she was panicking, but her son helped her calm down and get to safety, using lessons he learned in school when firefighters came to visit his class.

"If she panicked, we might die in there," Tripp Harris remembers from that night.

"My son just came to me and he was like, 'Mom! Ma, get a grip!' You know?" Christine explained.

She remembers turning the stove on, and then getting distracted by the television. Next, she remembers her son pointing out the smoke to her.

"Where this came from?" Christine remembers thinking. "And then I started to panic and scream! I just was running in circles and circles."

She said her panic kept growing, because the doors were locked and she couldn't find the keys. Feeling trapped, she tried to break a window. But, that didn't work either.

"Next thing I know, my son just drop on the ground!" said Christine. "Cause I guess we couldn't breathe. We couldn't breath and we really couldn't see."

She said from down below the smoke, Tripp dragged her to the door.

"I remembered all the stuff from the school," said Tripp. "You calm down and get out of the house."

Even outside the house, when Christine was overcome with panic watching her house burn, 7-year-old Tripp knew the best way to stay alive.

"I just stand up there and was looking inside," said Christine. "And he was already way over here, him and the dog. And he say, "Ma! They say you must not stand at a burning building!"'

Christine said she never believed in those fire programs at school, until now. She says what her son learned saved their lives.

"If it wasn't for him, I don't know, I probably would have been dead," said Christine.

Even though Trip and his mom say they're grateful they got out alive, they do have a lot of work to do now. They're still rebuilding their lives. They lost almost everything in this fire - but they say, thanks to the Chesterfield Fire Department, they still have each other.

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