Imagine getting ready to go to sleep, then turning around and realizing your bed is engulfed in flames!
This was the case for 90-year-old Catherine Ritchie. Recently, the Oklahoma woman was going about her nightly routine as usual, in the house she’s lived in for 58 years, when she suddenly realized there was a fire and she needed to escape.
Catherine first tried to put the fire out herself and quickly realized it was a lost cause. So, she called 911 and pressed her alarm button as she worked to escape. Unfortunately, in the time it took her to try to get the situation under control, the house filled with smoke and she couldn’t see where she was going and became lost in her hallway.
Nearby, 4 teenage boys (ranging from 14-17 years old) smelled the fire and heard the alarm going off in the house. Without hesitation, the boys quickly jumped into action and entered the house to save Catherine.
While all four of the boys entered the home, 14-year-old Nick Byrd was the one who was able to locate Catherine. He quickly scooped her up into his arms and although she insisted she could walk, Nick carried her out of the house to ensure a safe exit.
All four boys, and Catherine made it out of the home unharmed and first responders arrived not long after they made it to safety.
After the incident, Catherine’s daughter, Missy, wrote an open letter to the boys thanking them for bravery and for keeping her mom safe. Missy expressed her gratitude not only for herself, but also for her siblings/spouses, and Catherine’s 42 grandchildren!
In her letter, Missy wrote,
“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.”
As for the boys? They say the experience has “changed their lives for the better” and are just glad that they were nearby and could help.
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