Student credited with saving family during fire at home

Since the introduction of the Eyes and Ears Award at the monthly Coffee with the Chiefs program, both the Pine Bluff Police Department and the Fire and Emergency Services Department have used the event to honor members of their departments for their good work.

On Tuesday, however, it wasn’t a firefighter of police officer who was recognized and presented with an award during the program, sponsored by Interested Citizens for Voter Registration and held at Pine Hill Baptist Church.

Dallas Washington, a fifth-grade student at 34th Avenue Elementary School was credited with alerting his family to a fire in their residence and knowing what to do to ensure that everyone made it out safely.

Fire and Emergency Services Chief Shauwn Howell said the boy was asleep and woke up when a smoke alarm went off inside his house on Oct. 15, and having learned in school what to do if there is a fire, Dallas alerted his family, got low and crawled out of the burning structure, along with the other members of his family.

“We go out and do fire prevention education classes regularly and when we hear success stories like this, we know what we do is working,” Howell said.

The fire was reported at 1212 Alabama St. just after 7 a.m. and the home was fully engulfed in flames when the first firefighters arrived on the scene.

“Fortunately, because of Dallas’ quick actions, there were no injuries,” said Howell, who also presented the boy with a Lifesaving Award from the department.

Washington did not speak during the presentation and left shortly afterward to go back to school.