AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – A remarkable story of brotherly love rising from the ashes after a terrifying night of fire and fear for an Auburn family. Now, the Auburn Fire Department says a 13-year-old young man is a hero for saving his family from the flames.
Wednesday night Amber Threadgill and her son, Kounte, smelled fire inside their Harmon Drive home. The 13-year old Auburn Junior High School student’s actions saved his four younger siblings, six-year-old Kish, five-year-old Koa, two-year-old Kountess, and three-month-old Kross.
“When I looked into the room, I saw smoke behind the dryer. When I opened up the door, flames just burst out,” said Amber Threadgill.
Amber tried to put the fire out, but the extinguisher didn’t work. Flames quickly overtook the hallway. Amber said she started to panic.
“I just don’t even know how to describe it; the flames engulfed the whole hallway. At this point and my two-year-old was running back and forth, and I couldn’t get to her, and we started screaming,” said Amber.
That’s when Kounte ran through the fire and grabbed his younger siblings, Kish, Koa, and Kountess. Kounte brought them back to his room, broke a window, and helped them escape outside. Then, Kounte went back inside to find his baby brother, who was in his mother’s room.
“I had to run as fast as I could into mom’s room and get him out too. Everyone was out at that time, and I was the last one out with the baby. I didn’t think, I was just acting,” said Kounte.
When Auburn Firefighters arrived, the family was safely out. Fire crews worked to extinguish the fire. Sgt. Ben Royston was on scene and remembers hearing what Kounte did, seeing the teen’s singed pajama’s and thinking the young man was a hero. Sgt. Royston shared Kounte’s bravery with the rest of the Auburn Fire Department, who, in turn, shared the story with News 3.
Sgt. Royston visited with Kounte and his family on Monday, to tell the young man how he acted with bravery.
“We all think you are a hero, you stepped up, and it was scary for anyone, even firefighters. At first, it was hard to believe, then we saw his pajamas, and they were scorched up a good bit. I think he showed extraordinary bravery and courage. When he’s 18, we told him he could come to see us about a possible job.” shared Sgt. Royston.
For now, the Auburn Junior High School student dreams of being a pediatric hematologist; Kounte loves math and science, so the only possession he was worried about possibly loosing in the fire was his calculator.
“What he wanted was his calculator, so we did find that for him, and we were happy to do it,” said Sgt. Royston. The Threadgill Family lost most of their other belongings in the fire. With no insurance. The community is pitching in to help, and a GoFundMe has been set up to help get them back on their feet. You can donate by clicking here: Threadgill Fire Relief Fund
In the meantime, they are thankful for a big brother, who comes through for his family, when it counts.
The Auburn Fire Department and Auburn Mayor Ron Anders plan on honoring Kounte at a special ceremony. News 3 will make sure to cover the service and keep you updated on how the family is doing.