GALLATIN, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Gallatin family is crediting an 11-year-old boy for warning them about a massive house fire early Wednesday morning, allowing them to make it out of the home safely.
Police body camera footage showed officers quickly working to evacuate neighbors, as the family’s home along Harper Dean Way went up in flames on Wednesday, Sept. 20.
Hannah Garrison called her 11-year-old son, Hayden Brewer, a hero for waking up first and getting her out of bed.
“If he hadn’t have woke up, this would be a different story,” Garrison said as she stood in front of the home.
Hayden remembered waking up around 3 a.m. the day of the fire.
“I can see black smoke coming from the walls, like, ‘Oh no, this ain’t good, this is like a huge fire,’” Hayden recalled. “It was so fast, like I don’t even remember doing anything. I just remember being in my room, then going to my mom’s room, so like I ran downstairs, go into my mom’s room, tapping Mom and my guardian, Malacchai, like, ‘Oh my gosh, Mom, Mom, Mom, there’s a fire!’”
Within minutes, Harrison and Malacchai Wilburn were able to grab all eight children and make it across the street safely.
“Very thankful for him, very proud of him,” Garrison said. “I feel like some of the kids might have panicked, but he didn’t. He got out, he got us out.”
According to the couple, they began renting their home less than two months ago, but now they are looking for a new place for the family of 10 to stay.
“Just unreal, we just had got into here, worked real hard, and just went to the flames,” Wilburn said.
Although discouraged, Wilburn and Garrison told News 2 they made it out with what matters.
“The kids, and yes, that’s the main thing, that’s all I’m really worried about,” Wilburn said.
They also encouraged other parents to rehearse evacuation and emergency plans with their children.
“Talk to your kids about in case of house fire…We have talked over and over, and our kids don’t listen well on a normal day, but this morning, they listened, and they were familiar with what to do,” Garrison said.
The family is asking for help covering expenses associated with the fire, along with clothing donations. You can find more information on their GoFundMe page.