Brandon Dahl is still learning how to talk, but he’s already a life-saving hero.
While the rest of his family was asleep, he was the only one aware of the fire quickly growing inside their living room, the very place the toddler was sleeping. He was staying there because he had been sick, and his parents wanted him closer to their room.
Despite the violent flames growing around him, this brave little boy made his way to his parents room to let them know that something was wrong.
“He tapped me on my feet in bed and was coughing and saying, ‘Mama, hot. Mama, hot,'” his mom, Kayla Dahl said. “I turned around. I looked and all I saw was flames in the doorway.”
Despite having a fire detector that was just a year old, their alarm didn’t go off until it was far too late. Plus, both of the toddler’s parents, Kayla and Nathan Dahl, were still experiencing loss of taste and smell as they recovered from COVID-19.
Kayla began to scream, “fire,” promptly waking up Nathan. As a volunteer fireman, he initially expected to jump into action to save both his family and their house. But his plans shifted when he saw that the flames had already grown to 6 feet tall.
“My heart just dropped,” he said. “In my head, I already knew this house was gone. We had to get out.”
Using the escape plan they’d practiced with their kids many times before, they got out in less than a minute, swiftly making their to their neighbor’s yard across the street.
While waiting for firefighters to arrive, Nathan turned off the gas in their house from the outside to lower the chance of an explosion. But as the winds picked up, he feared they were about to have a new problem.
“I literally went to Kayla, who is on the phone with 911, and I told them, ‘Look. We’re about to have more than one structure fire,'” he said.
Thankfully, nine different fire departments and an EMS department got there soon after, stopping the spread of the fire before it could reach any other homes or buildings. Unfortunately, though, it was much too late for the Dahl’s home.
Every single thing they owned, other than what they were wearing, was completely destroyed, including both of their vehicles.
“You hear people say, ‘I lost everything,'” Kayla said. “You don’t realize the weight of that until it happens to you.”
As the Dahl family works to put their lives back together, they’re grateful for not having to do it alone. They’ve not only received community-wide support, but have also had countless strangers reach out to them online after hearing their story.
They still have a long road ahead of them, but they’re taking things one day at a time. For now, they’re renting a house, but they hope to one day rebuild where their old home once stood.
And as far as their material possessions go, their friend, Chellsea Malson, has that covered. She started a GoFundMe for them that has already raised over $29K.
“We didn’t expect even half of the type of support we’ve received,” Kayla said. “We’re just so thankful.”
As the Dahl family looks back on that fateful night, they still can’t believe that, had it not been for their 2-year-old son, they wouldn’t have made it out in time.
“I’m beyond blessed by God for us to still be here,” Nathan said. “He saved our family. No shadow of a doubt in my opinion.”
Kayla added, “Brandon definitely had a guardian angel help him get out of that living room. It’s honestly nothing short of a miracle. An absolute miracle.”
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