Stratford fire department honours 9-year-old 'hero'
'He basically saved his family,' says fire chief
Nine-year-old Camdyn Smith has been honoured by the Cross Roads Fire Department in Stratford, P.E.I.
Firefighters presented Smith with a plaque Saturday, making him an official honorary firefighter.
Dave Walsh, the department's captain, says it is the first time the award has been bestowed.
He said it's their way of recognizing Smith's bravery and actions.
Firefighters responded to a call at the Smith's house on May 22. When they arrived, they found the family already safely outside, thanks to Camdyn.
"There was a young man in the home that we learned afterwards was responsible for waking up his parents and alerting them to the fire and the smoke that was taking place, and everybody got out of the house safely, and much of that is attributed to his bravery," said Walsh.
Camdyn woke up around 5:30 a.m. that day and thought he smelled smoke. He started to investigate.
"I just wanted to check if there was fire. So I touched my door, and my doorknob, and then I went out, checked the living room and the hall," he said.
He then went to his parents room to wake them up.
"When Camden came into my room he touched my leg and just said, 'Mommy, I'm sorry to wake you, but I smell smoke,'" said Erin Smith.
Erin smelled smoke when she woke up and realized the house was on fire. The family quickly got out.
The home is a total loss, said Walsh. But, if it weren't for the quick thinking of Camdyn, the situation could have turned out differently.
"This was a very big deal," said Walsh. "He basically saved his family. In a lot of ways he's a hero."
The family has been teaching Camdyn the importance of fire safety and what to do in an emergency from a young age, said Erin.
"I didn't feel like it was something we were ever going to have to use," she said. "But I'm quite glad that we did because if Camdyn didn't have the skills and the knowledge that he did have, we don't know where we'd all be today.
"I'm very proud, but we've been telling him since that day that he's our hero, and that will never change."
It's had an impact on Camdyn as well. Now, when asked what he wants to be when he grows up, the response comes quickly.
"A firefighter," he said.