Many teens haven’t taken a ride in the front seat of a fire truck, know how to use a fire extinguisher properly, or even can say they’ve stopped a fire from spreading.
Wesley Alig can say he’s done all of that. Now, he has an award to prove it.
“I knew what to do. so I did it really quick and got out,” said Alig.
Alig is a 13-year-old student at Jefferson Middle School, credited with stopping a fire in his family’s home from spreading by using skills he learned at Oak Ridge’s Junior Police Academy.
Created just for him, the Outstanding Contribution to Fire Prevention Award marks his success in using skills to keep a fire in his family’s kitchen from spreading to other parts of the home or growing.
“He extinguished the fire, so when we got there we simply cleaned up the mess and got the smoke out of the house. by doing that, he saved their home,” said Fire Chief Darryl Kerley.
The fire started on the stove when a slow cooker caught fire, and Alig was home alone. He acted fast, finding the family’s fire extinguisher to quickly put out the flames.
“Not all kids will be able to experience this and learn to put out fires, it’s great I knew what to do,” said Alig.
His mother Carman says getting a text there was a fire was a nightmare.
“There’s nothing like that moment when you know your kid is home alone and you get that text,” said Carman Alig. She said above all, she was relieved he was safe.
First responders, police officers and firefighters are applauding Alig’s quick thinking and know-how. They say they hope his story reminds others it’s never too early to learn fire safety skills.
“Hopefully some of these kids will see for themselves what we really do, and say, ‘Hey I want to give that a shot,'” said Officer Barry Bunch, director of the Junior Police Academy.
Applications and information to enroll in Oak Ridge’s Junior Police Academy are available on the city’s website.