2-year-old saves family from house fire after COVID-19 prevented parents from smelling smoke

Fire COVID-19 smoke smell
Posted at 10:44 AM, Jan 31, 2022

A Texas family says they are all safe today thanks to the quick thinking of their 2-year-old child, who alerted his parents to a house fire earlier this month.

With both of his parents without their sense of smell after a bout with COVID-19 and the home's smoke alarms not functioning correctly, there's little doubt that all seven members of the Dahl family are alive today because of 2-year-old Brandon.

"He saved our entire family," mother Kayla Dahl told WFAA-TV in Dallas. "I mean, he's our little mini hero."

According to WFAA, the fire occurred on Jan. 15. That evening, Brandon was dealing with an illness, so he slept in the family's living room so his mom could easily check on him throughout the night. That's where officials with the Decatur Fire Department say the blaze started.

At about 4:30 in the morning, Brandon came into his parents' room.

"Mama, hot," he told his mom, according to The Washington Post.

Kayla Dahl thought her son was talking about how many blankets he had while sleeping. Instead, she looked into the living room and saw a wall of flames.

Luckily, Kayla Dahl's husband Nathan is volunteer firefighter at the nearby Alvord Fire Department.

"We had a plan," Nathan Dahl told WFAA. "We've had a plan. This is how everything's going to go."

After being awoken by Brandon, the parents were able to round up their four other children and escape the home in under a minute. Had they waited any longer, they may not have survived.

"About maybe a minute after we got out of the house, our front door had flames coming out of it," Nathan Dahl told WFAA. "Everything was in flames."

According to Good Morning America, the family believes the fire was started by a gas heater in the living room. While the family lost nearly everything they owned in the blaze, WFAA reports that friends raised thousands of dollars for the family in an online campaign.

According to The Post, Brandon's birthday is coming up soon, and the family will celebrate with a "Baby Shark" cake.

"I don't think he quite understands the impact of what he did and the good thing that he is," Kayla Dahl said. "But he is relishing the abundance of attention. If we go to Walmart or the gas station and somebody recognizes us from the news, they'll pat him on the back and try to shake his hand [saying], 'You're a hero! I'm so happy to meet a hero!'"