When a 12-year-old girl went to bed, she didn't know she would wake up to popping sounds from an electrical cord that would quickly turn into a deadly fire, destroying her entire house. The young girl made it to the news by doing something courageous to save her siblings and cousins.
Often, life surprises us in unexpected ways. Sometimes, those surprises put a smile on our faces, and at other times, they send us into a fight-or-flight mode where we have to do the right thing before it's too late.
The hero of our story, a 12-year-old girl, shocked everyone around her by handling a deadly fire situation like an adult. Her quick-thinking skills and bravery compelled people to praise her after discovering what happened in her house that morning.
EARLY SATURDAY MORNING
Deysi Garza Aguirre had no idea how her life would take a different turn the next day when she slept in her Clinton, Oklahoma house on a Friday night. She dozed off on a sofa while her siblings, cousins, and aunt slept in other rooms.
In the early hours of July 23, 2022, Aguirre woke up to a strange popping sound. She stood up and discovered it was coming from an electrical cord nearby. While the rest of the people in her house were asleep, the 12-year-old started switching off all the electrical outlets when she realized things were getting out of control.
What the young girl saw next would make many people panic, but she chose to stay calm and handle the situation. While switching off the power outlets in her house, she saw fire engulfing her couch, side table, and other pieces of furniture.
TRYING NOT TO PANIC
Aguirre screamed her aunt's name upon seeing the fire. All she could think about was her family sleeping in the back rooms of the house. Aguirre recalled:
"I can't remember what I was thinking, but I was just trying to get them out."
One by one, her siblings, cousin, and aunt left the house and saw the fire spread from one room to the next, burning down every corner of their home. Meanwhile, Aguirre rushed to a neighbor's house and called 911 for help.
CALLING FOR HELP
The fire had caught the entire neighborhood's attention. A few minutes after Aguirre called 911, firefighters arrived to extinguish the fire that had engulfed the whole house. After realizing they couldn't live in their home, Aguirre and her family had no idea where they would go.
However, Aguirre's aunt, siblings, and cousins were thankful to her for getting them out of the house on time. Had she ignored the sounds of the spark, things would have turned out to be much worse. An official from the Clinton Fire Department said:
"She’s an amazing little girl. She’s far beyond her years."
After the fire was put out, Aguirre and her family were allowed to go inside to see the remains. The couch Aguirre had slept on was burned entirely, as was the other furniture in their house. When TV station Koco 5's team accompanied her into the house a few days later, she told them:
"I was sleeping right here, and the fire started right there, so I was really close to the fire."
Seeing her house in ruins was painful, but Aguirre's bravery had caught the Clinton Fire Department's attention. They featured her story on their Facebook page and presented her with the Clinton Fire Department Award for Courage and Bravery.
The Clinton Fire Department began its Facebook post by saying, "This is Deysi Garza Aguirre, she is 12 years old, and she is a hero." Feeling proud of what she had done, they gave her an award and shared pictures of Aguirre with her family. The page also wrote:
"While they may have lost their house, their family is still whole."
The fire department officials acknowledged that the 12-year-old saved her family from getting into a much worse situation, and presenting her with an award was their way to appreciate her efforts. After receiving so much love and appreciation, Aguirre said:
"Everyone told me I’m a hero. I feel good because I saved my family."
THEY NEEDED HELP
Since most parts of their house were ruined by the fire, including cupboards, the family asked people to donate clothes.
Aguirre's parents were also looking for a new home, and the Clinton Fire Department shared the link to the family's fundraiser on their page.
When a kind citizen asked the Clinton Fire Department for clothes and shoe sizes, they responded with a list of sizes and said they were accepting donations at the fire department.
In the comments section, many people left kind words for Aguirre and her family. Here are some of the comments netizens left under the Clinton Fire Department's post:
"Way to go! I hope she is super proud of herself. She is definitely a hero. I'm so sorry they lost their house and belongings but so glad she was able to get everyone out. What a brave and amazing girl."
- (@Lindsey Elizabeth Derry) July 27, 2022
"Outstanding story, good job, CFD taking time to recognize the community when they go above and beyond."
- (@Robert Daniel Ashcraft) July 27, 2022
"This gave me goosebumps! What a wonderful, brave young lady!"
- (@Melanie Shanklin Duke) July 27, 2022
"Praise the Lord that you got woke up by the sound. Congratulations for truly being a hero."
-(@Trisha DeLynn Deweese) July 30, 2022
After learning of the tragic incident, people stepped forward and helped Aguirre's family however they could. Some people donated money through the GoFundMe link, while others gave shoes and clothes to the family.
What would you do if you found yourself in Aguirre's place? Would you sacrifice your sleep to see what the popping sound was about? Do you think what she did was something extraordinary?
Click here to read another story about an 8-year-old boy who helped an elderly lady walk up the stairs when he spotted her from afar while sitting in his car with his family.
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