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Henrico Fire hails actions of nine year old who called 911: 'I felt brave'

Henrico Fire hails actions of nine year old who called 911
Posted at 4:17 PM, Nov 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-19 18:30:54-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- The Henrico County Fire Department is hailing the actions of a nine-year-old girl who put skills she learned in school to use earlier this week and called 911 for help.

It's a less stressful reunion Friday between the Aguilars and Henrico firefighters who met earlier this week.

The meeting happened thanks in part to the actions of nine-year-old Hilda Aguilar.

"I was, like, kind of fearless. I felt brave," Hilda said.

On Monday, Aguilar and her family took a family friend out shopping, but when they came back to the woman's apartment, they were met by smoke billowing from the home.

The smoke was caused by food left cooking on the stove. The woman initially called 911, but hung up and ran into the apartment. That's when Hilda stepped in and called back.

"I told them what happened and then they came. So, I think that's all solved," Hilda said.

"Went inside and they encountered low visibility. A lot of smoke in there," Henrico firefighter Alex Luna said.

Luna was among those who responded and credits what Aguilar did.

"I think it was fantastic. You know, that's what we like kids to take home," Luna said.

Aguilar says she learned what to do in school as Henrico County has a fire safety program for its fourth-graders taught by Liz Guise.

"The importance of working smoke alarms, the importance of a home fire escape plan, discussing that with your family," Guise said.

They also teach the kids about 911 and Guise says it's great to see its real-world impact in action.

"To see them perform everything that we've been teaching is really a huge success and really rewarding and awesome," Guise said, who added parents should talk to their kids about home fire safety and what to do in an emergency.

More information about the county's education program and to request a presentation can be found here.

Aguilar says she surprised herself with what she was able to do and has some newfound confidence going forward.

I would always say to myself, 'If I can do it. I can do it for anything else,'" Hilda said, who added she plans to use this mindset to achieve her goal of becoming a dentist.