Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hilltop house fire shines spotlight on hero, a Bates student

On Nov. 18, a burning pan on the stove sparked a house fire on South Ainsworth Avenue that destroyed the home and jumped over to a neighbor's attic. A woman and a young boy were able to escape—with the help of Ben Parker, a Mechanical Engineering student.

A story in The News Tribune stated that Ben, who lives across the street from the charred home, detected smoke coming from the home and asked his wife to call 911. He had gone home for lunch, said Bob Ackein, Mechanical Engineering instructor, and he was on his way back to class when he noticed the smoke.

"When I came out of my house and saw the smoke, I immedietly ran to the house because I knew there was a kid living there," said Ben.

According to the article, Ben went to the home to see if anyone was there. He heard glass popping and he could see smoke billowing from the home. He ran to the back of the house where he found a woman who attempted to escape through a window but fell down a stairwell. Ben pulled her away from the home to safety.

"It was amazing to see not only several neighbors rushing to help, but also several people who were driving by stopped to help everyone to safety," said Ben.

He notes that while he and his neighbors may not all know each other, they still look out for each other.
"Ben called me [Tuesday], shortly after lunch and told me that he couldn’t get back to school because fire trucks were blocking his driveway," said Bob. "I told him [the next morning] that I considered being a hero an excused absence."

Way to go, Ben! We're proud of you!