Boy, 6, saves family from fire
Six-year-old Deigen is being called a hero by his family.
The boy, who is recovering from a recent tonsillectomy, is credited with saving his mother, two
grandparents, a great uncle, a younger sibling, four dogs, a cat, a bird and a small net full of exotic fish from a fire early Wednesday morning at 656 Larkspur Lane.
“If it hadn’t been for Deigen waking up, I don’t know if any of us would have survived,” said his grandmother, Renee Gideon.
Deigen and his family were sound asleep while a few chunks of wood in the fireplace smoldered, providing some heat to the home, which is southeast of G and 26 roads.
According to the Grand Junction Fire Department, a fireplace insert malfunctioned, and the walls surrounding the fireplace caught fire.
The Gideons knew the smoke detectors did not work. They said they installed a couple carbon-monoxide detectors a couple days before the fire, but they failed to place one on the home’s first level, where the fire started.
Deigen was awakened by the throat-irritating smoke.
Scared, confused and unable to see through the smoke, Deigen went to his mother’s room, unaware the smoke was from a fire. His mother was sleeping with Deigen’s 2-year-old brother.
When Deigen’s mother awoke and saw the smoke billowing into her room, she sent Deigen to his grandparents’ bedroom until she could figure out what was happening. Renee said her grandson didn’t say a word about the fire, he just “bailed” into bed with her.
Rich Gideon, the boy’s grandfather, said he woke to find Deigen slipping under the covers and his daughter shouting that the house was on fire.
“I said there is just no way,” Gideon said, but upon entering the living room he learned otherwise.
After some attempts by the Gideons to put the fire out themselves, the Fire Department was called, and the family members followed their emergency evacuation plan.
“We have always had a plan,” Renee Gideon said. “It went absolutely perfect.”
However, grandma and grandpa went back into the house — over the objections of little Deigen — to salvage photographs and other mementos.
“He kept telling (his) mom, ‘They are not supposed to go back inside,’ ” Renee Gideon said.
At 1:57 a.m. 17 firefighters responded, and the fire was under control at 2:25 a.m., firefighters said.
The fire was ruled accidental. It caused an estimated $50,000 to the home, firefighters said.
The family is now living in a camper and plans to rebuild the house, which was built in 1959, Rich Gideon said.