Child Called Hero For Alerting Family To Fire - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

01/23/07 - Cushing

Child Called Hero For Alerting Family To Fire

Daniel Stell is being called a hero for alerting his family when their house caught fire. (KTRE News Photo / Josh Ault) Daniel Stell is being called a hero for alerting his family when their house caught fire. (KTRE News Photo / Josh Ault)
Daniel stands in the charred remains of his family's home in Cushing. (KTRE News Photo / Josh Ault) Daniel stands in the charred remains of his family's home in Cushing. (KTRE News Photo / Josh Ault)
Daniel's twin sisters, Vanessa and Hope, are held by Daniel's mother in this photo. (KTRE News Photo / Josh Ault) Daniel's twin sisters, Vanessa and Hope, are held by Daniel's mother in this photo. (KTRE News Photo / Josh Ault)

by Donna McCollum

Daniel Stell has never known a hero. Now he is one.

"Everybody here I know keeps telling me I'm a hero for waking up everybody and getting them out of the house," said the 12-year-old Cushing boy.

Daniel was only doing what came naturally when he was awakened by the smell of smoke and the sight of flames in his bedroom.  Daniel ran to the other end of the three-bedroom mobile home to awake his parents and 13-year-old brother. Then he returned for his twin three-year-old sisters. Their bedroom was next door to his.

Daniel explained what happened from the gutted home where he once lived. "I went into the girls' bedroom and flames were coming this way. By then, the flames were already hitting their room. They were touching the ceiling."

The big brother pulled the sleeping girls from their cribs using all his strength to carry them both at the same time to safety.  "Here was Vanessa, and here is Hope, and I carried them like this," said Daniel as he demonstrated how he carried a sister in each arm.

Daniel's grandmother, who lives next door, isn't surprised about her grandson's bravery.  "He takes care of those babies, so we are just so blessed they got out and everyone is okay."

Daniel attempts to salvage his sister's dolls, but everything is damaged beyond use. He's saving a charred baby picture of his twin sisters as a reminder of the night he pulled them to safety.

The family is starting over with the help of donations from friends. They've lost their belongings, but, thanks to Daniel, they have each other.

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined. A fund has been set up for the six children and two adults at Cushing bank. Children's sizes: Boys, size 12-14, size 10, size 5; Girls, Toddler's, size 3-4; Man's 35-32, extra large; Ladies, size 14-16.  

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