Phelan, California: Grandson Evacuates Himself and Grandmother From House After Fire

Phelan, California: Grandson Evacuates Himself and Grandmother From House After Fire


A 5-year-old boy is being hailed as a hero after saving himself and his grandmother from a fire in their California home.


Nathaniel Stocks woke up coughing in his Phelan, California, home after midnight Saturday and noticed the fire burning in his room, a news release from the San Bernardino County Fire Department said.

He crawled beneath the smoke in the hallway to wake up grandma Kimberly Ratliff, who was the only other person in the home, she told ABC News today.

“He came in after midnight and walked over and said, ‘My room’s on fire nanny, my room’s on fire,’” Ratliff said. “He was really calm; he’s a calm young man.”

Ratliff and her grandson crawled on the floor of the house, which Ratliff said Nathaniel told her to do, grabbed their pets and exited the home. But there was one pet they couldn’t find: a Chihuahua named Tinkerbell.

“I kept wanting to go back in the house to get her but [Nathaniel] begged me not to and said the firemen will find her,” Ratliff said.

Although Ratliff said she “lost pretty much everything” from the fire, which fire department officials said was likely caused by a space heater, the firemen found Tinkerbell hiding in the bathroom and managed to get her out alive.

The proud grandmother said she would not be alive if it hadn’t been for her grandson, who learned the skills two days before when his school toured a fire station and learned about “Stop, Drop and Roll,” home-exit skills and when to call 911, fire department officials said.

“He is a hero, he is a thinker, he’s a great young man,” Ratliff said. “He listens and he knows he saved me.”

Nathaniel’s mom, Brianna Stocks, added, “He just turned 5 so the fact that he woke up, saw the fire and knew what to do; he is just amazing.”

To honor Nathaniel, the fire department presented him with a plaque Monday and let him wear fire gear and sit in a fire truck.

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