The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

CNHI News Service Originals

February 20, 2013

3-year-old saves family from blaze

MUSKOGEE, Okla. — Kypton Greenwood’s bedroom was turned from a bright, happy place to a pile of damp, ashy mush Tuesday by a fire that left his family homeless.

His toys — what remains of them — are melted mostly beyond recognition. His bed is an almost unrecognizable pile of charred wood and box springs.

But things could have been much worse, the 3-year-old’s parents say, if he hadn’t braved flames, smoke and fear to alert them their house was burning down.

“I woke up and he was tugging on my arm, saying ‘Mommy, my bed’s on fire,” Kypton’s stepmother Kendel Ames said. “As soon as I opened my eyes and took a breath, I was just filled with smoke. I was in shock.

“He’s a hero, pretty much.”

Ames said she looked down the hallway to Kypton’s room and could see the foot of his bed engulfed in flames. The fire, which began just before 1:30 a.m., had begun in an adjacent bathroom and had spread to Kypton’s room through the hall.

“I don’t know if he walked through the fire or crawled past it or what,” Ames said. “But I really don’t think we would have made it if he hadn’t.”  

Ames said she and her boyfriend, BJ Greenwood, have lived in the house at 720 S. 30th St. for about 18 months. The family searched through what was left of the house Tuesday morning, looking for anything salvageable. Drywall, weighted down with water, had begun cracking and falling overnight. Most things not burned to a crisp were water damaged — firefighters battled the blaze for more than two hours before it was fully out.

“Funny thing is, I had my phone charging on the headboard of my bed while I slept,” Ames said. “The dresser next to the bed is just completely burned and destroyed, but my phone was fine.”

Greenwood said the Red Cross had put them up in a hotel and given them enough money on a debit card to buy some clothes. Faced with the prospect of starting over, Greenwood was resilient.  

“We’ll be back on our feet soon,” Greenwood said. “It shouldn’t take long.”

Kypton, for his part, seemed to be taking it all in stride. Sitting on the patio outside the house, he said he saw his house on fire and “woke my mommy up.”

Then, like any normal 3-year-old, stood up and announced: “Let me go, I want to go run over there and spit.”

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