Five-year-old boy saves family, home from fire

A little boy saved his family from a house fire in Beacon, New York.

On the day before Thanksgiving, 5-year-old Matthew Hansen woke around 4 a.m, surrounded by smoke.

Downstairs, flames were consuming the kitchen in his family's Beacon, New York, home. Smoke billowed up the stairs and into his room.

The youngster, unsure of what was going on, called out to his parents, Christina and Greg Hansen.

"I need my eyes checked, mommy, I can't see," he yelled.

The smoke had yet to reach the master bedroom, so Greg responded, "You can't see because it's dark out and you're sleeping."

Still, little Matthew wouldn't stop calling for help.

"I felt something, and at school, they told us what to do if your butt is ever on fire," Matthew told the Poughkeepsie Journal. "You stop, drop and roll. You're never supposed to hide, and you're always supposed to call for help. So I called my mom and dad."

Soon Christina entered his room and saw the smoke. She grabbed her son and ran outside. She then ran back inside to quickly find some warm clothes for her partially undressed son, while Greg started throwing water on the kitchen fire.

Minutes later, firefighters arrived.

The kitchen was gutted.

City of Beacon Fire Administrator Michael Davis said that if the Hansens had waited just two minutes longer to escape, it would have been too late.

"Many people have died from lack of early detection," Davis told the Poughkeepsie Journal. "This family was two minutes away from that, if not for Matthew waking up. The smoke would have blocked the stairwell."

Davis added that the smoke alarm outside Matthew's bedroom, despite being equipped with new batteries, failed to work.

"What he did is extraordinary, waking up the whole house like that," Davis added.

Davis praised the fire-prevention program at Matthew's school for teaching him what to do in case of fire.

"Matthew Hansen will be honored by the City of Beacon Mayor, Fire Department and the City Council in the near future to recognize his bravery," announced the Beacon Fire Department.

Matthew is currently spending his nights at his grandparents while his parents renovate their home to make it safer.

Christina hopes they'll have a new kitchen by Christmas.