The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 14, 2013

Boy used school-taught skills to avoid fire

Associated Press

CASTLE SHANNON — A fire chief says a 10-year-old boy used fire safety skills he learned at school to save himself and lead his mom to safety from their burning Pittsburgh-area home.

Castle Shannon fire Chief Bill Reffner says the boy “knew to get down low and he crawled to the door and got out safely.”

Ben Honsinger, a fourth grader at St. Bernard’s School in nearby Mount Lebanon, says he remembers the lessons he learned in school from local firefighters about staying low to avoid smoke.

Honsinger says he was sleeping when a neighbor who spotted smoke banged on the door before 5 a.m. Thursday.

Ben says, “I started low-crawling down the stairs. I was ... scared, but I just remembered that.”

The chief says the fire likely resulted from an electrical problem in a vacant duplex unit under renovation.


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