4-year old boy saves his family

4-year old boy saves his family
By: Arnold Wyrick

BUCKNER, Ill. - "I was wearing power ranger clothes," says 4-year-old Nicholaus Savage of Buckner, Illinois.  Whether it was his clothes, or sheer instinct, he didn't panic last Friday when his family's home caught fire.

His mother, Ashley Parke, had left their home about 20 minutes before the fire ignited.  Nicholaus and his grandfather Mark Parke had fallen asleep.  A cell phone call to Ashley turned her around. "I went back to town to see whose house it was.  When I got there I realized it was my house.  And I couldn't find him, or him anywhere," Parke said. "I was on the little couch sleeping.  And then I woke up and heard a boom," Nicholaus said.

That boom came from the kitchen area of the house.  He says he wasn't scared. "The roof fell on the stove and there was fire.  I woke my Paw Paw up."

His Paw Paw was sleeping in the front of the house. He says he didn't hear anything until his grandson woke him up. "When he woke me up, I could smell heat.  Heats got a smell to it.  And I immediately, I just knew what was going on. I grabbed him by the shoulders and lead him into the living room area.  I looked toward the kitchen and I seen flames.  And the smoke was already rolling across the living room pretty good," Parke said.

With just the clothes on their backs, the two headed out the front door, and to safety.  Now, Nicholaus is being called a hero by everyone in his family. "I've never actually talked to him about what to do in a house fire.  I never imagined something like that would happen.  It didn't cross my mind.  And I guess he just knew, he just woke up and instinctively knew to go wake my dad up.  He's my brave little guy," Ashley said as she hugged Nicholaus to her tightly.

"I know he saved my life.  I'm a pretty good sleeper.  I don't think I would have woke up on my own.  By the time I would have woke up, I think it would have been too late,"  Parke said as he proudly looked over to his grandson.
Little Nicholaus couldn't save his family's home, but he did save himself, and his Paw Paw.