13-Year-Old Helps Family Escape Greensboro House Fire

6:31 PM, May 10, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC --  A Greensboro family is hailing their 13-year-old son a hero after he helped evacuate his sister and grandparents from their burning home on Thursday.

The family says an electrical fire started in the basement of the home and quickly caused smoke to fill the entire house on Vanstory Street in Greensboro.

Thanks to the quick-thinking of 7th-grader Quinlan Stewart, family members escaped without injuries.

"I was just scared that everybody wasn't going to be able to get out in time,' Quinlan said. "I really didn't think about me.'

Quinlan says he saw his grandparents, his sister and the family dog in danger and ran to do what he could to help.

"I was walking up the hill from school. I just got of the bus... I noticed smoke coming out of the house," Quinlan recalled.

His 10-year-old sister, Shayla Stewart, was in the home at the time.

"I couldn't see anything. I kept calling my grandma," she said. "And my throat started to hurt."


"I heard popping noises from downstairs. I couldn't see anything, really, because of all the smoke and I really couldn't breathe that well so I had to put a shirt over my face so I could breathe," Quinlan explained. "I told Shayla to get out."


Quinlan says he managed to help his sister and his grandparents outside - through the back door - and then went back inside the home to get the dog.

Friday, as the events of the previous evening sunk in for the 7th-grader, he said he was glad his family was okay and he's ready to move back home.


"[The fire] made me really upset. My 11th, 12th and 13th birthdays happened in this house...all the memories."

"I see him as a brother and a hero," said Quinlan's youngest sister.

The family will have to wait at least 5 months before returning to the home.

The fire department has deemed it unsafe.

The insurance company has assessed the damage.

Workers will gut and renovate the home within the next few months.

In the meantime, Quinlan and his family are staying in a hotel and may move into a temporary house.

This is the third time, in as many years, the teenager has put family first.

On two separate vacations, his mother says, he saved her and Shayla from drowning.

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