Livingston teen saves family from burning home on New Year’s Eve

DENHAM SPRINGS — A young teen riding with his mother jumped into first responder mode to save a family in danger on New Year’s Eve.

Stacy Mason said she had picked up her 14-year-old son Bryce from a friend’s house he had been dog-sitting at in the early morning hours of New Year’s Eve in the Westminster Estates subdivision in Denham Springs.

After they left the house, they noticed something out of the ordinary at a home on Windsor Ave.

“We went to leave, and I said, ‘Look at that! Why are they having a bonfire close to the house?’ As we passed, I slowed down and said it was a fire,” Stacy recalled. “He (Bryce) jumped out and headed towards the fire. I said, don’t go near it because it looked like a gas can was near it. He ran to the door, banged it, and rang the doorbell. He panicked, and I called 911. He starts freaking out and screaming, ‘call 911′!”

Stacy said her son went to wake the neighbors and warn them of the fire. He went to the side of the house to figure out how to get past the wooden fence surrounding the home.

Instead of jumping over, he removed wood panels and entered the backyard. That’s when he knocked on the window and got the homeowners’ attention.

Shelby Pecquet said his family had popped fireworks earlier that night and wrapped things up around 12:15 a.m. A little over an hour later, he said he smelled something while he was in his room.

“My fiance was in the tub. I was in the back of the house, and I started smelling something,” he recalled. “I opened the bathroom door, and I heard Bryce banging on my bedroom window in the back from the backyard and yelling that the house was on fire.”

“I ran, grabbed my daughter, and opened the front door,” he continued. “Bryce runs in the front door, asks what he can help with, and starts getting my son. This kid was great.”

Pecquet said the teen went in and out of the home several times to ensure everyone was safe.

Stacy said Pecquet’s fiancé feared for Bryce as he tried to help.

“Two kids and two dogs lived in the home,” she said. “The mom kept telling him to get out because she feared for him, and he wouldn’t. She said, ‘Your son ran into a burning house, not knowing anything to help get us out’.”

Pecquet said the fire department had not officially determined what caused the fire outside the garage, but he said it was likely started by the fireworks they saved before going into the house.

The damage includes the garage, the attic, and a part of the kitchen, which is attached to the garage. Other issues include water and smoke damage from the fire. The family isn’t living there right now.

Stacy said the garage was on fire, and it sounded like fireworks popping, and the home was filled with smoke.

Bryce, just let his instincts and will to save others kick in, said there wasn’t much on his mind then.

“I was really just trying to break the house down and get them out,” Bryce said.

Pecquet said at the moment, he was not thinking about anything other than getting his family to safety.

“I didn’t care about anything else. It was just getting the family out of the house and how quickly we could move,” he said. “The house is just stuff.”

Pecquet said Bryce and Stacy stayed at the home for about an hour and a half, sitting with his fiancé and children, comforting them while he spoke with the fire department.

Pecquet and his fiancé expressed gratitude to the young teen, who did the unthinkable that night.

“The owner said, ‘He ran into strangers burning house to help me with my kids and didn’t even think twice’!” Stacy said. “Then she hugged me tight and said, ‘I have no words and am so grateful’.”

“They were a tremendous help, and they have been since the fire,” Pecquet said.

Stacy said that when Pecquet’s fiancé hugged her and told her she was grateful for Bryce’s help, what her son had accomplished sank in.

“When she said those words to me, I said, ‘Wow, he really did this’,” she said. “A typical 14-year-old wouldn’t know what to do. He took off and didn’t think twice about it. I can’t believe this. This little kid is a hero.”

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