Nelson House man in Winnipeg to visit kids he rescued from shed fire

A 19-year-old Nelson House man and his grandmother drove more than 700 kilometres to Winnipeg on Sunday to visit four children in hospital he helped save from a shed fire on June 4.

Nelson House man visits injured kids, he helped save, in a Winnipeg hospital

This storage shed caught on fire in Nelson House June 4 with four children inside. (Arnold Culley)

A 19-year-old Nelson House man and his grandmother drove more than 700 kilometres to Winnipeg on Sunday to visit four children in hospital he helped save from a shed fire on June 4.

Two six-year-old girls, a five-year-old girl and a five-year-old boy were in the storage shed in Nelson House when it caught fire earlier this month.

Arnold Culley and another woman, Chasity Spence, told CBC News they had to tear the walls off the burning shed to get the kids out.
Arnold Culley visits three-year-old boy CJ, who he helped save from a Nelson House shed fire June 4. (Merle Scatch)

Culley said two of the kids remain at the Health Sciences Centre's Children's Hospital because of the severity of their burns. The other two were not as badly hurt, but Culley said they are also in the city with their parents at their siblings' bedsides.

Sunday morning was the first time Culley had seen the kids since the fire.

"I felt bad inside seeing them but it's OK. As long as they're alive ... I feel bad for those kids," said Culley.

While it was hard for Culley to see the injured children, he's grateful he was able to get them out of the shed in time.

"That's one of my good friend's kids so I didn't let that happen, so I ran in there, got the kids out," said Culley. "I didn't even think, I just ran in."

Culley said one of the boys, three-year-old CJ, suffered burns to his ears but didn't require hospitalization. He said the boys' two older sisters will likely need months to recover.

"That one girl is in the hospital, bandages on her arms and her legs," said Culley. "We didn't get to see Brianna that good. We just got to see her through a plastic window. Just the parents are allowed to see them."

Merle Scatch drove her grandson from Nelson House to Winnipeg to see the children.

"I'm very, very proud of him. If he wasn't at the right place at the right time, none of these kids would be with us today," Scatch said.

Scatch wanted to bring Culley to Winnipeg to visit the children, but she also wanted to reward him for his heroic actions.

"I'm going to take him to the Red River Ex and he can stay there until he drops," said Scatch while laughing.

Culley said the last time he went to the Ex he was too short to go on any of the rides. He plans to make up for it this time around.

Scatch said if there's money left over from their day trip to the amusement park, she'll take her grandson to the Ex one more time on Monday.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.