A young teenage boy helped his sister escape from the flames in a Molalla house fire Monday

SUBMITTED PHOTO - A family lost their Sawtell Road home to a fire early morning Monday, April 30.Through their investigation into a house fire that occurred in Molalla Monday, fire personnel have learned that a young teen freed his sister from the flames that morning.

Canby Fire Battalion Chief Todd Gary was on scene at the Sawtell Road home in the early morning hours Monday. He also conducted the investigation. In his interview with the Molalla High School student who was transported to Legacy Oregon Burn Center with non-critical burns, he discovered the details leading up to her escape from the home.

"She woke up to the fire next to her bed and went to the door, and she couldn't get the door of her room open," Gary said. "She beat on the door and was screaming."

The screams woke her younger brother, who was asleep in a nearby room. He forced the door open to free his sister from her burning bedroom.

"Her brother saved her," Gary said. "She would not have survived that fire if her brother wouldn't have gotten the door open."

All family members escaped the fire Monday morning and only the high school student was hospitalized with injuries, but their home was a total loss. The American Red Cross is involved in fulfilling the family's immediate needs, but MHS students and staff are also collecting funds for the family.

When MHS students heard about the fire, they wanted to help, according to school Secretary Chris Cooksey. So students worked with Dean of Students Blane Lazar to organize a "Change Drive for Fire Victims," which will run through Friday. Collection jars are located at the high school offices and the library. Additionally, students will be on campus to collect change during school conferences, taking place Thursday from 4-8 p.m. and Friday from 7:30-10:30 a.m.

Kristen Wohlers
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