CINCINNATI, OH (FOX10) - Two young West Chester brothers made their mama proud Thursday night. They accepted Ohio's "Smoke Detector On-Guard Award."
Their fast thinking saved their home and their family from disaster. They took what they'd learned in school and acted without stopping to think and saved their family from a fiery mess.
Ten-year-old fraternal twin brothers Jake and Grant Lemen may not look exactly alike, but they sure do think the same way.
"Jake found the fire," bragged brother Grant.
It was a light above their fish tank that was burning.
"It was about eight in the morning," recalls Grant. That was President's Day.
Photos the fire department took showed the mess.
"This is how it came up the wall and started blistering the drywall," said Lieutenant Gary Zimmer. It quickly filled the house with poisonous, thick, black smoke.
"I was not that scared," said Grant. "When the fire happened, then I looked back upstairs and the smoke was like all over."
The black line in the photographs that wrapped all the way around the room at adult mouth level could have been a killer.
"Fairly quickly," said Captain Scott Brooks. "One good breath'll take you down."
Jake ran to his brother Grant's room and shook him awake.
Then, he woke the others, while Grant headed for the laundry room to grab the family's fire extinguisher.
"Jake heard the alarms and knew he had to wake everybody up," their proud mother Diana said. "Grant knew that he need to get the fire extinguisher, they learned all that in school, when the firemen come and tell you what you're supposed to do."
Diana's boyfriend Howard took aim with the fire extinguisher and then called 911. They had a plan and stuck to it.
"Everybody goes out to the fire hydrant," Diana said. "And we had that plan in place so they knew what to do."
"He had no shoes on and I had slippers," said Jake.
"Yes, you had your Bengals slippers on," his mother said.
"If the smoke detectors weren't working and they did not wake up it could of probably turned out a lot worse than it was," Zimmer said.
Their mother thankfully has always done what the sign outside the fire department says to do, and that is "change your clock, change your battery," during Daylight Saving Time, which comes up this weekend.
"I'm very thankful they woke up to the alarms," Diana said. "I'm very proud of them, very thankful."
Now, the Lemen's house looks pretty good. The formerly scorched wall has been repaired and finally after living in a hotel for two weeks, they're back in their house.
"Well it was actually kind of fun because there was a pool there," said big sister Paige, who also said their cat Rosie was a little freaked by the whole experience.
"We found her, she's black and white and she looked all black," Paige said.
Lieutenant Gary Zimmer gave the dynamic duo a tour of the fire station.
"It's about the same size," Captain Scott Brooks said, as he handed the family a brand-new fire extinguisher to replace the one they'd used to put the fire out, because you never know when you might need it.
"They definitely knew what to do," Captain Brooks said. "They knew how to use it and knew when to use it."
Brooks also said there was a lot of heavy snow that day and that made response time drag a little. The boys got kudos from the Ohio State Fire Marshall as well.