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Sixth-grader commended for leading brother to safety during appliance fire

| October 21, 2022
12-year-old Ares Stull of Dennison poses with Dennison officials and firefighters after being publicly commended for his response to an Oct. 7th appliance fire at his family's home in the Thornwood Park area. (Village of Dennison)

DENNISON (WJER) (Oct. 21, 2022) – Fire Chief Dave McConnell is crediting a 12-year-old for saving his brother and his family’s home.

McConnell says Ares Stull knew just what to do when a fire broke out in the kitchen of the home in the Thornwood Park area two weeks ago, leading his 9-year-old brother outside, calling 911, and shutting the door behind them. 

“We’re very proud of him, very happy with the result because another probably two to five minutes, and that could’ve been a whole different situation because the fire was starting to impinge on the cupboards.”   

McConnell says they believe the fire started when a dog pawed a knob on a gas stove. 

“There was a pizza box sitting on the stove. The dog jumped up there and accidentally kicked the stove on. It caught the pizza box on fire. The brother noticed it, ran upstairs, and got him, and Ares came down, looked at the kitchen, saw the fire, grabbed his brother, and got him out of the house to safety.”  

Ares is a sixth-grader at Immaculate Conception Elementary. McConnell says his actions that day are proof that their visits to schools are making a difference.

“We’ve been teaching fire safety and fire prevention to him for six years now, and he obviously was paying attention.”

Village officials showed their appreciation for Ares with a proclamation at Thursday’s village council meeting and also made him an honorary firefighter. McConnell says he will get to help out with events and activities but won’t be responding to calls with them. 

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