New Hampshire

5-Year-Old NH Boy Alerts Sleeping Parents to Fire at Family Barn

A family in Swanzey, New Hampshire, is grateful for the quick thinking of 5-year-old Aksel Jalava after he noticed a fire had broken out

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The quick thinking of a 5-year-old boy may have saved his entire family when a fire broke out in Swanzey, New Hampshire.

It was early Sunday morning, and everyone in the house besides Aksel Jalava was asleep. The child looked out his window and knew something was wrong.

"It was really hot and bright," he said. "I just woke up and I saw the fire."

Aksel ran to his parents' room and woke up his dad.

"We just heard a little knock on the door, and he opened up the door and came in, he goes, 'Dad, you got to check this out,'" Bryan Jalava recalled.

He says he got up to see what his son was talking about, quickly realizing the family's barn was fully engulfed in fire.

The family was able to get out, calling 911 and moving all the family's farm animals to safety.

Bryan Jalava is a corporal for a local sheriff's office. He always knew professionally that seconds matter. Now, he knows that personally, too.

"If he had waited 15 minutes, or slept in for 15 more minutes, or didn't even tell us, or if he had stayed in, it would have gotten to the house," he said. "We probably wouldn't have woken up to it until the smoke detectors in the house went off."

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, and the Jalava family has just started processing all that was lost, but they remain thankful for the early warning.

"He knew something wasn't right, and he knew to come in and get me, which is awesome," Bryan Jalava said. "We are very proud of him and very, very thankful and very grateful."

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