Eagle Scout helps family escape house during fire
A Kailua teenager's Eagle Scout training helped his family of five escape a fire in their single-family home yesterday morning.
Ashton Warner, 16, woke up to his mother screaming "fire" at about 5 a.m., grabbed his sister, 7, from her room and gathered his two younger brothers at a designated area in the driveway.
"We planned out many escape routes that you can use to get out of the house," said Warner, an Eagle Scout with Troop 101 in Hawaii Kai. "In Scouts one of the things you have to do is repeatedly designate a meeting place and practice a way to escape."
Ashton's mother, Mary Warner, said the family had practiced emergency preparedness because it is a required merit badge for an Eagle Scout, and the other children had also practiced it for Scouting.
When the children were out of the house, she closed doors and tried to call 911 but found the electricity was dead.
"He ran to the neighbor's (house) -- all four of the kids because they knew to stick together -- and banged on the window," she said. "I didn't have to worry because Ashton really took charge" and used the neighbor's phone to call 911.
The 217 Aikapa St. fire started in a bedroom from an electrical short in a portable clip-on fan, causing $25,000 in damage to the structure and contents, said Honolulu fire Capt. Terry Seelig.
"They all got out due to their fire safety training," he said.
Firefighters brought the blaze under control within five minutes. No one was injured.
Mary Warner said, "I would say don't just talk about having a family emergency plan, but practice it."