23 November 2016
A tragedy was avoided this past Saturday (Nov. 12), thanks to a group of Lake Monticello teenagers who happened to be walking by at the right time.
Dillan Cobbs, Michelle Harris, Brycen Baber, Andrew Ward, Ethian Kidd, Ashton Brown and Michael Brown were talking a walk together in the Cherokee section of the Lake a little after 9 p.m. that night. The teens smelled smoke and noticed a fire on the porch at 19 Tuscarora Drive.
“It was on top of the porch and under the porch,” Cobbs, 13, said of the fire he saw as he walked by. Cobbs said Ward and Michael Brown immediately began to attempt to smother the fire while the others ran around the house, banging on doors and windows to alert the family who was sleeping inside.
Cobbs and Ashton Brown located the garden hose beside the porch and put the fire out before the fire department arrived. After the fire was out, the family was “very thankful” for the teens’ actions, Cobbs said.
According to Fire Chief Richie Constantino, the department received the call at 9:12 p.m. when a neighbor called 911. Constantino told the Fluvanna Review the fire was started by “smoking materials in a plastic container.”
Once the plastic burned and “communicated to the wooden deck,” the fire spread on the deck to surrounding combustible materials around the planter.
Constantino conceded the fire was quelled when he arrived on scene. “It was inches from the house and siding burns very quickly,” he said. Constantino said he believed the fire would have breached the house in “just another 10 or 15 minutes.”
“The results could have been catastrophic,” Constantino said. “These kids are true heroes.”