BABYSITTER SAVES BOY FROM FIRE

November 19, 2001 12:00 am
YOUNG HEROINE: Capt. Emmit Cornford and Officer Kris Petersen present Erica Alexander with a large stuffed dog. ().
YOUNG HEROINE: Capt. Emmit Cornford and Officer Kris Petersen present Erica Alexander with a large stuffed dog. ().

By The Observer

A 12-year-old girl acted quickly to rescue another child from a burning house Sunday morning in La Grande.

Erica Alexander was taking caring of an 8-year-old boy while his parents Mark and Angie Wells of 104 Lake St. were at work. When she heard a smoke alarm sound shortly after 7 a.m. she went to investigate and discovered a fire in a back bedroom closet, said Sgt. Scott Franks of the La Grande Police Department.

Erica telephoned an adult and took the boy out of the house to safety.

La Grande fire and police departments responded and firefighters extinguished the blaze after about 45 minutes.

Erica was thanked for her effort by police and fire personnel, who presented her with a stuffed dog and a bicycle helmet.

At the very least, Erica saved this family from losing additional thousands of dollars in property damage, Franks said. More importantly, however, is that she remained calm and did the right things that quite possibly saved her and the 8 year-olds life.

The fire department has determined that the blaze was started by a child playing with a lighter. The bedroom and all its contents were destroyed, fire officials said, and the hall, living room and kitchen suffered heavy heat and smoke damage.