By Colleen Williamson
Parsons Sun – March 17, 2017
Firefighters visit grade schools annually to teach children how to respond to fires in their homes, emphasizing the importance of a fire escape plan, though it is hoped they would never need one.
When he awoke around 3:30 or 3:45 a.m. Wednesday to his house on South Wabash, Altamont, filled with smoke, 11-year-old Nolan Haraughty proved those lessons matter, saving his brother, parents and the family pet.
“He said he heard a voice in his head tell him, ‘Wake up.’ We asked him whose voice it was, and he said, ‘It was God telling me to get up and help my family,’” his mother Hanna Haraughty said Thursday.
Nolan used a blanket to cover his nose and mouth, and made his way to his brother’s room as his parents directed in the fire escape plan. After getting his brother up, he went to get his parents up and got the dog.
“It was so bad you couldn’t see in front of your face. It was so thick we couldn’t breathe. We had to get down, but we didn’t have to crawl very far because we have French doors off our bedroom,” Mrs. Haraughty said. “We had two smoke alarms and two carbon monoxide detectors, and they didn’t go off until we were out.”
The fire burned the attic, and there was severe water damage and smoke damage to the kitchen, living room and family room.
“We’ll have to gut most of it. Our clothing is fine, though. The clothes received smoke damage, but they will wash,” she said. “We are very lucky. We have insurance, and it could have been much worse than it was.”
If not for Nolan waking them and his brother, they all could have perished in the fire.
“It’s amazing,” she said.
When asked if he was scared at all, Nolan replied he was not because he knew God was with him.