La Crosse community recognizes teenager’s bravery from saving family and house from fire

Logan Middle School student Sam King earned a lifesaver award from the La Crosse Fire Department

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – If you consider yourself a brave person, that’s a good trait to have, as does Sam King from Logan Middle School.

His quick and courageous actions helped save his family and his house a few weeks ago.

Instincts sometimes trump experience.

“Well I’m very, very impressed, especially for not ever having to deal with a situation like this,” Sam’s mom Cassondra Smith said.

King had to use his instincts a few weeks ago.

“I was sitting in my room on my iPad,” Sam said. “And I was doing school with one of the teachers.”

That’s when Sam smelled smoke.

Seconds later, his home smoke alarms went off.

“And then instantly I called my mom,” Sam said.

Who was at work when the smoke alarms went off in the house.

“And I was like, ‘mom I think the house is on fire!,” Sam said.

“And I was like ‘what do you mean, the house is on fire?!,” Cassondra said. “I said ‘you need to find out. Get out of there!’

Thick smoke started filling the house.

“And he told me after the fact that he was thinking he was going to have to jump out of a second-story window,” Cassondra said.

But Sam didn’t panic, crouching down the stairs, staying low, getting out with his mom’s fiance, and calling 911.

“And approximately two minutes after I got here, the fire department got here,” Cassondra said.

Sam’s instincts got him and his mom’s fiance out safely.

The fire department got there fast thanks to a bit of luck.

“We were actually out doing a fire inspection when the call came in,” Captain John Bayer said. “So we were only about eight to 10 blocks away when the call came in.”

Only their kitchen was damaged.

“I’m really proud of him,” Bayer said. “It’s an honor to be able to present an award like this.”

An award officially recognizing Sam as a lifesaver.

“I did the right thing that I learned in first grade,” Sam said.

He doesn’t see himself being a firefighter.

“I just want to be a Youtuber,” Sam said.

But now he has a story to tell to his family and perhaps future YouTube subscribers.

“Lifesaver, basically,” Cassondra said.

That instincts alone can save a life.

Bayer reminds people that in the event of a fire, call 911 right away so that crews get there sooner. He says a fire doubles every minute.

As for Sam and his family, right now they’re split up living with different relatives. But Cassondra says she hopes the family can once again live together at their old home.