Six-year-old Madalyn Karlbon from Avenel, New Jersey, is being hailed a hero after she saved the lives of her parents and younger brother from a house fire in the wee hours of Sunday. According to USA Today, the timely action of the little girl helped her father, mother, and her 2-year-old brother evacuate their home safely.
Madalyn, who goes by Madi, was sleeping with her father and brother on the second floor of her home when the incident happened at around 2 a.m. local time. Her mother, who had come in later, was sleeping downstairs.
According to Avenel Fire Department official Cory S. Spillar, Madalyn first heard the smoke alarm going off in her home before she woke up to a burning sensation in her eyes and throat. Sensing trouble, she darted downstairs to check what happened only to realize that the house was on fire. Once downstairs, she tried to wake her mother up unsuccessfully. Madalyn then returned to the bedroom on the second floor and woke her dad, who managed to safely evacuate himself and the two children within minutes. Upon ensuring the kids’ safety, he went back in to rescue his wife, who was still fast asleep, unaware of the fire.
In a Facebook post, Avenel Fire Department hailed Madalyn as a hero and stressed the importance of installing smoke detectors in homes. The fire department also detailed the importance of teaching children about fire safety and went on to add that Madalyn’s quick actions were the result of the training she and her family had undergone during fire prevention week. It was also revealed that her father, Jimmy Karlbon, was a fireman himself who headed the Avenel Fire Department a few years ago.
In a separate Facebook post, fire department officials revealed that while the family was safe, the fire had destroyed almost all of the family’s belongings and had rendered the home uninhabitable. They are currently staying in a hotel.
While the exact cause of the fire is still being investigated, initial findings indicate that the fire was accidental in nature and that it appears to have originated in the kitchen. Officials have also revealed that the bulk of the fire damage was confined to the kitchen.
Meanwhile, the Avenel Fire Department has started accepting donations on behalf of the family. Currently, the family needs clothing, toys and toiletries, which can be sent to the Avenel Fire Company Community Fund.