By Pat Maurer
An 11 year-old probably saved all seven of his Farwell family and four the family pets from a house fire last Saturday morning.
The home of Carol and Larry Forkum at 503 Maple was extensively damage in the blaze which destroyed most of the interior of the home. The family of Joe and Renee Maxey (sons Austin, Collen, and Bradin) were also living at this residence. “We had sold our house about three to four months ago and in the process of buying a new home,” Joe said. “We are not one hundred percent sure where it started other than upstairs. We were living there with my wife’s (Renae) aunt and uncle, Carol and Zeke.
Fire Chief Dave Williams reported that the call came in around 5:40 a.m. February 28th and firefighters cleared the scene around 10 a.m.
Maxey continued, “Our 11 year old, Bradin (who will be 12 on March 23rd) was sleeping in the room where it started. He was awakened by the smell of smoke and crackling of the fire and immediately came to our bedroom and woke us up. From there we woke everyone up and got everyone out, including four dogs.”
Bradin in our eyes and hearts is our hero,” he said. “If he wouldn’t have acted so quickly and stayed calm who knows what the outcome might have been.”
“The house itself is over 100 years old…I’m not exactly sure how long Carol and Zeke have lived there, but I know it’s been a long time,” he added.
Surrey Fire Chief Dave Williams said the damage to the home was extensive. “The fire was mostly contained upstairs, where it started,” he said, “but the downstairs has a lot of smoke and water damage.”
He said he has an “idea” of where the fire may have started, but that the cause is still under investigation.
Sunday Maxey posted on Facebook, “Very thankful this morning for our human smoke/fire alarm, Bradin, who was able to smell the smoke and hear the fire snap, crackle and popping at 5:30ish this morning. He thought quick enough to wake us up with a fire creeping in his bedroom. Everyone is safe, but emotional. Thank you God for keeping us all safe. ”
He added, “We are grateful for all the firefighters from Surrey Township, Clare Fire Department and Garfield Township, who did a great job keeping most of the fire upstairs and salvaging most of the downstairs.”
“We are also very grateful for my Police family who have pulled together to be there and help in our time of need,” he said.
Anyone who would like to help support the family can stop at Red’s Oakridge Party Store, where a donation jar has been set up on the counter.