The alterness of five-year-old girl saved two lives before she was one of three individuals who died in a house fire that occurred during the overnight hours on Feb. 2.
The blaze took place at Oak Grove Road residence in Red Boiling Springs.
Randall Bray, the chief of the Red Boiling Springs Volunteer Fire Department, said that the call came in shortly after 1 a.m., and when crews arrived on the scene, the wood-frame house — which consisted of three bedrooms, 1 ½ bathrooms, a kitchen and living room — was fully ablaze.
“There wasn’t any way to do anything,” Bray said. “I wish we could have.”
The father of the family who lived there — Austin Reid — said that his daughter, Piper, was the first to realize that there was a fire.
“She woke us up,” Austin Reid said. “My daughter saved us.”
Austin Reid managed to exit the home, along with his 6-year-old son Dayson.
Austin Reid attempted to reenter the home to help Piper, his wife — 26-year-old Heather — and his 2-year-old son Kamden get out of the house, but he wasn’t able to advance far past the front door due to the smoke and flames.
“I couldn’t go any farther,” Austin Reid said. “I tried to go back in and save them. It was just too hot. It was so black and so hot.”
Austin Reid broke a bedroom window in an attempt to help them escape, but that was unsuccessful.
The Red Boiling Springs Volunteer Fire Department took both of its fire trucks to the scene and was assisted by the Lafayette Fire Department. There were 13 RBS volunteers on hand, in addition to the Lafayette personnel. The Lafayette Fire Department provide tankers to hold water, and the RBS fire trucks used an estimated 17,600 gallons of water in fighting the fire for approximately 45 minutes..
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation arrived at approximately 3:30 a.m. and continued the on-site investigation well into Tuesday morning.
The cause of the fire is undetermined and remains under investigation, but it is believed to have started outside of the residence — possibly on the porch — before it spread inside.
The family was renting the residence — which is owned by Reed Bray — and had lived there for approximately a year.
Funeral services for the Reids were held last Saturday at Lafayette’s Alexander Funeral Home.