Firefighting heroes in Lansing have honored a 6 year-old girl who saved her family from a fire in their home.
Isabella Thomas woke up around 3 a.m. August 8th to smoke filling her home. She quickly woke up her mother and younger brother and the family escaped from a fire burning in the living room.
On Thursday, Lansing's Fire Chief and several members of the department presented Isabella with a "Lifesaving Award." The presentation took place before Isabella's classmates and teachers at Immaculate Heart of Mary school in Lansing. Isabella says Jesus and God called her to save her family. Her mother Tamara Thomas says she was remarkably calm when the fire broke out. "I think I was panicking but she just, she took total control."
LPF Battalion Chief Rob Hecksel said Isabella is a true hero. "If she hadn't acted in a forthright manner, and done the right thing, we very well could have had 2 or 3 hours later have showed up for a full blown house fire with fatalities."
Hecksel says the fire started in a laundry basket. It was caused from oil in the clothing that became hot in the dryer. Tamara Thomas says the oils came from sheets she used working as a massage therapist. "It was smoldering inside the basket and it was spontaneous combustion i guess."
Becksel says Isabella is a true example of a hero. She serves as a great example of a child who listened during safety lessons and acted. "An ordinary person in extraordinary circumstances. Any one of us can be a hero and she pretty much defies I think the picture we all have in our head of what a hero is."
Isabella says she's proud of herself and appreciates the recognition. "They told me it was a good job and it was really amazing how you stayed calm."
Just by coincidence, the fire happened a week after Isabella toured a fire station with her grandmother.