This Virginia boy who told his parents to 'call 911' may have saved lives, firefighters say

Posted at 10:48 PM, Oct 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-30 07:17:59-04

SALEM, Va. – A 7-year-old Virginia boy is being lauded for his quick thinking that firefighters say may have saved a life back in August when he smelled smoke at the mobile home park where he lives.

Dakota Thomas was playing outside when he smelled smoke and went to investigate.

“I noticed there was an actual, a real fire,” the second-grader recalled. “So I went to my parents and told them to call 911."

Todd Bedwell with Salem Fire and EMS said Dakota also made sure his neighbors were alerted to the danger.

"There were trailers on both sides of the residence,” Bedwell said. “So to us, he was a hero that day."

Firefighters quickly arrived and extinguished the fire, which was contained to one mobile home.

No injuries were reported.

Dakota's teachers, classmates and area first responders surprised him during a school pep rally held in October which is Fire Prevention Month.

"It's amazing how we teach them about fire safety,” Janice Manns, Dakota’s teacher, said. “But to see them actually following through the plans that the firefighters teach them."

And the boy’s good deeds continue, according to his teachers. They said he is always kind to his classmates, helps them up when they fall and even holds doors for his friends.

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