(COLORADO SPRINGS) — On Monday morning, Cimarron Hills Fire Department (CHFD) and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPSO) cheered on teenager Isaac White for his heroic actions during a fire in December.
On December 23, 2022, CHFD responded to a structure fire on White Mountain Drive, near Peterson Road south of Palmer Park Boulevard, after an emergency call came through from White.
“I was saying, happy birthday to my friend on the phone, and I smell smoke, so I was going to go downstairs to check if it was the heater and I walked into the living room and it’s just pitch-black smoke and you can see light coming from like the kitchen area,” White said. “And I run into the kitchen and the cabinet’s on fire.”
In a matter of minutes, White was able to save his family and instruct them to get out of the house. Inside the house was his grandmother, along with his two younger brothers and dogs.
“So I run downstairs. I’m yelling, ‘there’s a fire. there’s a fire,'” White said. “And my grandma asks if it’s a bad one and I say ‘yes.’ So, I get everybody out of the house and then the dogs as well. And then we call 911 and then the firemen show up.”
Isaac’s mother, Brianna Bailey, recalls the moment her phone rang with the tragic news of their house catching on fire.
“Even though it’s been six months, it’s still really fresh,” Bailey said. “I was at work when [Isaac] called me and told me that the fire department was there and the ambulance and that everybody was okay, but our house was in bad condition and that I needed to come home.”
Bailey said Isaac remained calm when he told her and reassured her it was going to be okay.
“It took me a minute when he called to even gauge or realize or comprehend what was going on because he was so calm and he’s like, you just like, you know, everybody’s okay, but you need to come home,” said Bailey.
Nearly six months later, Isaac’s heroism was recognized by CHFD, and El Paso County Sheriff Joe Roybal presented White with the 911 Hero Award.
“Something was on fire. He went downstairs to investigate and found the kitchen cabinets in flames,” Royball said. “He knew just what to do. He called 911 for help.”
EPSO also presented him with a coin to signify his actions for going above and beyond in this emergency situation.
Bailey recalled that Isaac has been aware ever since he was a little boy.
“And since he was little, I’ve always told him, like when we go to the grocery store and I’m putting in groceries inside of the back of the car, I’ve always made him face over the seat and watch my back and be aware of what’s going on,” said Bailey.
Bailey wiped away tears as Southern Colorado first responders cheered Isaac on.
“I can’t even express how proud I am of him to just do what he needed to do when he needed to,” Bailey said. “There’s nothing I could do. I’m still in shock every time we talk about it or every time we wake up and we’re still not in our own home, it’s shocking, but it’s just so humbling to know that he’s so young. But he is, he’s capable.”