CFA recognises boy's fast thinking to keep family safe

Member News image Welshpool CFA firefighters Alan O'Neill (left) and David Grylls (right) reunited with Daniel (9yo) and Emily (3yo) to present them with trauma teddies following a structure fire at their property on 11 August.


Local firefighters have recognised the brave actions of a nine-year-old Welshpool boy after he helped evacuate his younger sister from a fire threatening their home earlier this week.


Firefighters from Welshpool, Toora, Foster and Hedley brigades responded to a garage fire in Welshpool along Pedersen Street at around 2.30am on 11 August.

The fire had started in the garage and was impacting three other small shed structures nearby, spanning approximately 20 metres by 12 metres, and was threatening the family home.

Incident Controller and Welshpool Firefighter Alan O’Neill said while crews did a phenomenal job of drawing up containment lines to ensure the fire did not impact the home, he was amazed at the fast thinking of the young boy, Dylan.

“The boy was woken by the smoke alarm inside the home and went straight to alert his three-year-old sister, Emily and get her outside to safety,” Alan said.

“Once he had moved his sister to a safer location, he quickly fetched the phone and gave it to his dad to contact Triple Zero (000) immediately.”

When firefighters arrived, the garage and out-buildings were destroyed, and flames were “licking at the eaves of the house”.

“After identifying everyone was out of the home and safe, our crews’ first priority was to save the home,” Alan said.

“We were dealing with strong winds of up to 50km/h so we had to work quick to protect the house.”

The fire was understood to have been started by already-extinguished ashes that flared up as a result of the strong winds overnight, which blew hot embers into the garage area, sparking a fire.

“Thanks to a working smoke alarm in the home, Dylan was able to jump into the action to save himself and his little sister, and hand the phone to his dad – he did all the right things,” Alan said.

“Dylan’s brave actions illustrate the importance of working smoke alarms inside your home and having a Home Fire Escape Plan in the event of a fire.”

For more information about smoke alarms, visit

 When making your Home Fire Escape Plan, remember these important points:

  • Make sure you have working smoke alarms in all living areas, hallways and bedrooms.
  • Know the two quickest ways out of every room.
  • If it’s safe, close the door to the room on fire.
  • Crawl low in smoke.
  • Get out. Alert others.
  • When outside, stay out. Never go back inside!
  • Meet at a safe place outside your home; e.g. letterbox. Wait until the fire brigade arrives.
  • Phone Triple Zero (000) from the nearest available phone; e.g. neighbour’s house.


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Submitted by CFA News & Media