Teen heroes rush to rescue at house fire

Published: August 23, 2006 | 4617th good news item since 2003

Colleen Carpenter, her grandson and his friend were sitting down to watch a movie at 10 p.m. Friday when an unfamiliar scent wafted through her Shell Beach home.

It smelled “like burnt wiring,” Carpenter recalled this week.

Carpenter walked outside and saw smoke coming from her neighbor’s two-story house. She yelled for her grandson, Bryce Mosley, to call 911.

Carpenter knew the neighbors were elderly and was worried that they might need help.

Bryce and friend Jeff Reed, both 17 and from Bakersfield, ran to the house. Bryce said he acted on instinct.

“I just started pounding on the door and yelling, ‘Is there anyone here, anybody here?’ ”

Luckily, the door wasn’t locked.

“I couldn’t see that well,” Bryce said. “All I could see was orange flames.”

The kitchen was on fire.

Bryce and Jeff quickly determined that the homeowners, an elderly man and his wife, would need to be escorted out.

They ran upstairs.

Jeff stripped off his shirt and held it over the woman’s mouth so she wouldn’t inhale smoke. He helped her outside, then returned.

Bryce helped the man walk down the stairs, while Jeff carried his wheelchair.

With their help, the couple got outside to safety.

The fire caused an estimated $125,000 in structural damage and an additional $25,000 in damage to the kitchen.

The homeowners couldn’t be reached for comment.

“They are young heroes,” Carpenter said.

Bryce said his training as a Police Explorer in Bakersfield helped him to not panic.

“I know how to control myself in a situation like that — how to calm myself and just get through it,” he said. “You don’t really think about it when it is happening, but now it feels good to know that we helped.”

“I am so proud that he was willing to do something like that — not everybody would,” said Carpenter, who has lived in the Sunset Palisades neighborhood for 20 years. “I hate to think what would have happened if he wasn’t there.”

Published in Heroes, Kids & Teens, Rescues
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