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Red Cross Lesson Helps 8-Year-Old Save Sister from Home Fire

  • Red Cross worker Tim Reichel greets students at an assembly at Fairless Elementary School.
    Red Cross worker Tim Reichel greets students at an assembly at Fairless Elementary School.
  • Trinity embraces her 3-year-old Londyn who is alive thanks to her big sister.
    Trinity embraces her 3-year-old Londyn who is alive thanks to her big sister.
  • Red cross worker Tim Reichel and Trinity pose for a photo together following her recognition assembly.
    Red cross worker Tim Reichel and Trinity pose for a photo together following her recognition assembly.
  • Trinity’s home after the fire.
    Trinity’s home after the fire.
Someone at our school did a fabulous job teaching her what to do when there is a fire. I told him that person was Mr. Tim from the Red Cross!

On a cold night in March, 8-year-old Trinity Seymour woke to the sound of a blaring smoke alarm. The piercing noise scared her 3-year-old sister, Londyn who ran into the bedroom closet while covering her ears. Fortunately, Trinity knew what to do thanks to a lesson from American Red Cross disaster worker Tim Reichel, who had recently spoken at her school about fire safety.

“Stay calm,” Trinity thought to herself. “Get Londyn and get out of here!” Trinity went to the closet, consoled Londyn, picked her up and calmly exited their home.

“Mr. Tim says you should stand very far away from the burning building so I told everyone to stand across the street,” said Trinity.

The local fire department quickly responded to the apartment fire that displaced four families. The Red Cross also arrived on the scene, providing bedding, shoes and seasonal clothing to the affected residents. As the fire raged for several hours, Red Cross volunteers consoled the distraught families and provided much needed hugs and emotional support.

A week after the fire, Tim received an email from Trinity’s teacher. She explained that Trinity experienced a home fire, but was able to heroically rescue her sister and get them out of their burning apartment.

“Her grandpa told me that someone at our school did a fabulous job teaching her what to do when there is a fire,” said the teacher. “I told him that person was Mr. Tim from the Red Cross!”

On March 14, the Fairless Elementary School held a school assembly to honor Trinity. As a surprise, her family was there as she received the Certificate of Recognition for Extraordinary Action from the Red Cross and an award from the local fire department. At the assembly, Grandfather Scott Bentley thanked the school and the Red Cross for educating students on fire safety.

“Smoke detectors do save lives,” said Bentley. “After the fire, I stood in the closet where Londyn hid and nothing survived that fire. Thank god my little girls knew what to do and got out!”

Although Trinity was overwhelmed with the attention, she proudly wore her Red Cross medal for the rest of the school day.

Red Cross Home Fire Campaign

Every eight minutes the Red Cross responds to a home fire or other disaster. To help combat the threat of home fires, the Red Cross announced a national campaign in October 2014 to reduce deaths and injuries from home fires by as much as 25 percent over the next five years. The Red Cross has already prepared nearly 37,000 households and installed more than 66,000 smoke alarms.

You can help people affected by disasters like home fires and countless other crises by making a donation to support the American Red Cross. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or contact your local chapter to make a donation.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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