Teens save 90-year-old neighbor from fire

National

(CNN Newsource) — A fire that started in an Oklahoma home trapped a 90-year-old inside. But thanks to four teen boys jumping into action she’s okay and forever grateful. 

For 58 years, Catherine Ritchie called this place home until three weeks ago. “I was getting ready for bed in the bathroom and I turned around and my bed, the head of my bed was covered with flames,” Catherine Ritchie says. That’s where her heroes come in. 

“We were just sitting around looking for something to do,” says 17-year-old Wyatt Hall, one of four teens who helped Ritchie escape the burning home. 

“We were actually fixing to leave I thought right? We were fixing to go to QT to get something to drink,” says 16-year-old Seth Byrd.

The four boys, aged 14 to 17, go outside and the first thing they notice is a smell. 

“It smelled kind of like burning rubber. Then we heard the house alarm go off,” says 16-year-old Dylan Wick.

Inside, Catherine was trying to put out the fire. Eventually, she gave up, calling 911 and hitting her emergency call button. But then came another problem. “At that time, the smoke was so bad I couldn’t see to get out of my room,” Catherine says. “I felt along the wall and I went into the closet instead of the door to get out of the room. But anyway, I finally did get to the door.”

While she tried to feel her way out, the boys jumped into action, trying to break down doors to get inside. 

14-year-old Nick manages to get in through the back door and runs inside, finding Catherine in the hall, lost in the smoke. 

“This young boy was right there. He picked me up, and I said, ‘I can walk,’ and he said, ‘We’re getting out of here,'” Catherine says. 

“I just kind of heard her. I went to the right of the house and no one was there, I went to the left of the house and I saw her in the hallway, so I just grabbed her and took her to Seth,” says Nick. 

Catherine made it out safe, so did the boys. Firefighters stopped the flames before they spread. 

They say the night has changed their lives forever. Catherine has one word constantly on the tip of her tongue, grateful.  It’s unclear what caused the fire. According to a blog post her daughter wrote thanking the teens, Ritchie has 42 grandchildren, and she is very grateful she’s still with them. 

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