Adams Co. man being called a hero after he saves family - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Adams Co. man being called a hero after he saves family

BIG FLATS (WAOW)--An Adams County man is being called a hero after he helped his family escape their burning mobile home. That fire happened early Sunday morning in the town of Big Flats.

The family of four was sound asleep when Van Roberts noticed something was wrong.

"My bedroom door flew open and I opened my eyes and my room was filling with smoke," Roberts said.

A fire, that started in their living room, was spreading quickly. And Roberts' grandmother's bedroom was just feet away.

"I shook her leg to tell her, ‘we got to go, we got to go,' and I told her to get on her knees and crawl out," said Roberts.

But Roberts knew his girlfriend and child were still inside.

"I told my girlfriend to follow my voice, to come to the back door," Roberts said. "She came and she found her way out and I had to go back to grab my daughter," he continued.

Fire officials say the family is lucky to be alive.

"From 30 seconds to a minute later, I think we definitely would have fatalities here at that point, because the smoke was already getting to him as he was turning around to get the other two out," Big Flats Fire Chief Dick Meyers said.

The fire chief says the grandson is a hero. But Roberts doesn't see it that way.

"It's just an instinct that I had. The quickest thing I could think of," Roberts said.

The Red Cross has been called into help the family as they try to get back on their feet.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Roberts' grandmother did suffer third degree burns from the flames. She's being treated at a hospital in Minnesota.

Online Reporter: Cassandra Vinch

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