5-Year-Old Saves His Grandma's Life Thanks to a Fire Station Field Trip

This is likely one of the most wonderful stories you'll hear all week. Five-year-old Nathaniel Stocks saved his grandmother's life on Saturday, when he awoke in his home to realize that it was on fire. The boy woke his grandma up in the blaze and was able to save them both by following the instructions he'd learned at his fire department field trip just days before.


The tyke had gone with his kindergarten class to a southern California fire department in San Bernardino just three days before his own home caught on fire, and because of it, he was able to save not only himself and his grandma, but their pets as well.

Nathaniel told Today.com, "They taught us how to stop, drop, and roll on the field trip and I also learned that you have to crawl on the ground beneath the fire."

When the 5-year-old smelled fire around 1 a.m., he said he grabbed his cat and LeapFrog tablet (save what's important, people) and went to find his grandmother Kimberly Racliss. "Nanny, there's a fire!" he yelled a few times to rouse her, and when he did, they ran out together.

When Racliss realized that their pet dog, a Chihuahua named Tinkerbell Marie, was still in the house, she tried to go back in to rescue her. But Nathaniel stopped her and told her that she needed to wait for the fire department.

"Nathaniel had the good sense to remain calm and come to me," Racliss, 50, said of the ordeal. "I wouldn't have made it out alive without him."

The rescue team arrived just seven minutes later and were thankfully able to rescue Tinkerbell Marie from behind a bathroom door. Nathaniel and Kimberly were the only ones in the house that night, as his dad was on a business trip and his mom was on her way to nearby Mammoth Mountain with friends when it happened. She turned back immediately when she heard the news.

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The family's house was mostly demolished in the flames, which makes it even more of a miracle that Nathaniel and his grandma made it out. If he hadn't known what to do when he smelled the smoke, they likely both would have died.

The firefighters on the scene recognized Nathaniel from the field trip and were so impressed by his quick thinking that they invited him to the station, where they awarded him with a plaque, a badge, and a teddy bear for his service.

Despite their home being gone, the family is grateful for a community of support. They're staying in an RV on the property until the house can be rebuilt, and Nate's mom said of the generous donations, "Nathaniel has more clothes and toys than he had before."

This is such an amazing story, and a testament to how important community field trips can be at a young age. Thanks to Nathaniel's trip to the fire department, he and his grandma are alive today.


Image via © Philip Rostron/Masterfile/Corbis

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