Teenage babysitter helps younger siblings escape house fire
Published Thursday, August 2, 2012 8:01AM EDT
A 14-year-old is being hailed a hero after she helped her three siblings escape a fire that left their home in Lundar, Man. all but a heap of rubble.
The blaze broke out early Tuesday morning while Sherisse Thorsteinson was babysitting her two younger brothers and sister.
“We were sitting in the living room and my little brother came out and he called us so we went inside the room and the alarm clock just started a fire and it had caught on to all the clothes,” Sherisse told CTV Winnipeg.
The teen acted fast and rounded up her siblings, grabbed her phone, and got her family out of the home before calling 911.
By the time fire crews arrived shortly after 9:30 a.m., the home was completely engulfed in flames.
Firefighters managed to contain the fire but couldn’t save the home in the small community situated about 100 kilometres north of Winnipeg.
Among those to battle the flames was Sherisse’s father and volunteer firefighter Jason Thorsteinson.
“I came out here as a parent but as soon as I knew my kids were safe in town I went to work as a firefighter,” said Thorsteinson, adding that he was glad the lessons he had taught his kids over the years had paid off.
“I try as much as I can, from what I’ve seen in the past, to pump in their head what to do, how to get out,” he said.
Stepmother Lesley Webb said work will now begin on rebuilding their home.
Asked what’s next for the family, Webb replied, “Build a new home. Make a home, because a house is a house, but a home is something you make.”
All but one of the Thorsteinson family’s pets escaped the blaze. One bird died as a result of the fire.
With a report from CTV Winnipeg’s Rajeev Dhir