While enjoying an ordinary weekend afternoon off, four teen boys smelled smoke outside. Looking around, they saw their 90-year-old neighbor’s house in flames! Without thinking twice, the incredible teens ran into the house, hoping it wasn’t too late.
The Fire Begins
Sapulpa, Oklahoma, is a quiet city. 90-year-old Catherine Ritchie has lived there for nearly six decades. She is familiar enough with her neighbors, but not that close. So when her house caught on fire, Ritchie never expected her neighbors – let alone the local teens – to come to her rescue. However, all it takes is one selfless action to save a soul.
Ritchie told ABC reporters she was just getting ready to go to bed. “I turned around, and my bed, the head of my bed, was covered in flames.” It’s a terrifying situation, especially for an elderly woman living alone, one who can’t get around that quickly. At first, Ritchie attempted to put the fire out herself. When she realized she could not, she called 911 and also pressed her emergency button. Then, Ritchie tried to leave her bedroom. However, too much smoke had filled the room, and she couldn’t tell where the door is. Unfortunately, the elderly woman accidentally opened the closet door and went inside, quickly realizing it wasn’t the exit. Ritchie decided to bravely attempt, once again, to make it to the bedroom door and escape as fast as she could.
An Incredible Rescue By Four Teens
Meanwhile, four teenage boys from Ritchie’s neighborhood, aged 14 to 17, were hanging out next door. “We were just sitting around looking for something to do,” said one of the boys, 17-year-old Wyatt Hall. They had finally decided to walk down to a local convenience store to kill some time. However, when they stepped outside, “it smelled kind of like burning rubber. Then, we heard the house alarm go off,” 16-year-old Dylan Wick told reporters.
Just as Ritchie finally made it out of her bedroom, the four teens broke down the house door. They found the 90-year-old woman, on the verge of collapse, in the hallway. Nick Byrd, another of the heroic boys, described the terrifying situation: “I just kind of heard her. I went to the right of the house, and no one was there. I went to the left of the house, and I saw her in the hallway, so I just grabbed her and took her to Seth.”
“Thank You For Your Selfless Acts of Heroism and Courage”
Thankfully, everyone made it out safely. Even better, firefighters arrived quickly enough to contain the flames before they spread to other parts of the home. ABC reporters interviewed the teenagers, asking them how they’re dealing with the rescue. “Ever since that night, my life has just changed … for the better,” Hall said.
Ritchie is extremely grateful for the boys; she couldn’t find the words to thank them. Missy Ritchie Nicolas, one of her daughters, uploaded an incredibly touching blog post, describing the incident. She concluded, “Dylan Wick – 16 years old, Nick Byrd – 14 years old, Seth Byrd – 16 years old, and Wyatt Hall – 17 years old, thank you! Thank you for your selfless acts of heroism and courage. Thank you for not allowing this to be the tragic end to our mother’s amazing life. Thank you for staying with her, hugging her, and helping her feel less alone until we could get to her. Thank you for being the kind of young men who thought about another person above yourselves.”