Sunday, June 9, 2019

Teens: You can't live with them, and sometimes you can't live without them

Catherine Ritchie has lived in the same home in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, for 58 years. Recently she was getting ready for bed in the bathroom when she turned around and the head of her bed was burning. "It was covered with flames," she said. She tried to put the fire out, but quickly gave up and called 911, and also hit her emergency call button. Then things got worse. "The smoke was so bad I couldn't get out of my room. I felt along the wall and felt a door and walked into a closet by mistake. I finally did find the door.

Meanwhile, four teens a few houses away were "looking around for something to do." The boys, ages 14-17, went outside and smelled smoke. Then they heard a house alarm go off, and they jumped into action. They tried to break down the front door of Ritchie's home, but they couldn't. Then Nick Byrd, 14, managed to get through the back door. He ran inside and found Ritchie in the hall, lost in smoke. "The young man was right there," she said. "He picked me up and I said 'I can walk' but he said, 'We're getting out of here.'" Ritchie got outside safely, and so did the teens. Firefighters stopped the flames before they spread. Ritchie said she's very grateful, saying the boys "were just special, as young as they were."

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