12-year-old saves family from Christmas Eve fire

ANDERSON, Ind. (WISH) – An Anderson mother of four is thankful her family is safe after her 12-year-old son saved them from their burning home on Christmas Eve.

“I’m blessed, and I just have to think God for Him keeping us all here,” said Barbara Caywood.

The decorations were up on their small Anderson home. The family was ready to celebrate the holidays, but around 3 a.m. on Christmas Eve, smoke detectors started going off. 12-year-old Nataveon Caywood was the only one to hear the alarms. He woke his mom up and told her there was a fire.

The fire started on the stove that Caywood was using to heat the home. She now warns other parents never to use the stove to heat a home.

“I just was thinking of how to get my kids warm, like a mother should. I never meant for this to happen,” said Caywood.

Barbara and Nataveon rushed to put out the fire, pouring water on the electric stove. As smoke started filling the home, Nataveon realized it wasn’t working. He told his mother they needed to leave. Barbara called 911 and Nataveon took his younger siblings to safety.

“I was just trying to get them in the car so they wouldn’t breathe in the smoke and stuff,” said Nataveon.

Now the family is staying in Madison County’s Fire Rescue House. The house is part of a donation-based program that gives fire victims like the Caywoods a place to stay, plus food and clothing for two weeks.

“It has made a lot of difference. I didn’t really realize what I really lost. I never been in this, but it really hit me yesterday that I’ve just done lost everything,” said Caywood.

Caywood said all her belongings were ruined by smoke damage, but thanks to her son she has everything she really needs.

“I’m very proud of him and I’m thankful for him. He’s always going to be my hero,” said Caywood.

There are Fire Rescue Houses in Anderson and one in Alexandria, but the group hopes to build more. If you want more information about how you can help click here.

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