Kids escape house fire with quick thinking - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Kids escape house fire with quick thinking

CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -- An escape from a house fire: some eastern Iowa kids give all of us an example for fire safety.

38 year-old Davena Johnson is a math teacher at Cleveland Elementary School in Cedar Rapids. She and her three sons had just moved into their townhouse in December. Tonight, they're without a home.

For Johnson, it started with a frantic call from her son, Trevon.

"He said Mom, the kitchen's on fire! He's kind of a jokester so I thought he was kidding," said Johnson. "And he said no, Mom, I'm serious. I said hang up and call 911."

"It was scary," recalls 15 year-old Trevon.

He was cooking french fries when he left the kitchen. Minutes later, he heard the smoke alarm.

"I ran in there. The whole kitchen was on fire. I ran upstairs and dragged my little brothers out of the house," said Trevon.

Trevon said he tried to use a fire extinguisher, but couldn't figure out how to work it.

"If the child would have went back in the living room and fallen asleep with the other two children upstairs, this could have been a lot worse of a situation," said Greg Buelow of the Cedar Rapids Fire Department.

Buelow's point is even more acute this year. Through just the first two months of 2009, 19 people have died in fires in Iowa. That's compared to 9 at this date last year. For all of 2008, Iowa saw 46 fire deaths. 30 people died in fires in 2007 and 33 people died in 2006.

"It's extremely scary and as I look at it now I'm like oh my gosh," said Johnson.

She arrived home to see her home smoldering . Fire crews had the blaze out within minute. But smoke spread throughout leaving virtually everything inside ruined.

"I have no idea how I'm going to pay for anything," Johnson distressed.

Still, mom is grateful for her son's quick thinking.

"I'm so glad that he was here. And I'm glad that he was able to get everybody out. I'm glad that they're safe, said Johnson.

The Cedar Rapids Fire Department says three out of ten house fires start in the kitchen.

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