Region 8 Second Grader Saves Family From Burning House

January 18, 2005 – Posted at 3:58 p.m. CST

CLAY COUNTY -- One Region 8 second grader is being called a hero after her family's house caught on fire.

"I think this is something she'll be able to remember for a lifetime and having her class recognize her and everybody get together," said Paige Catt, a second grade teacher at Park Elementary in Corning.

The Success Fire Department and her Park Elementary classroom recognized 8-year-old Gretchen Oscarson as a hero.

"The backroom caught on fire and I knew I needed to get help," said Oscarson.

Her quick thinking saved the life of her family. Oscarson was home with her wheel chair bound stepmother and 3-year-old brother when her house caught fire. She grabbed a flashlight and ran down this road to the nearest neighbor's house, more than one-eighth of a mile away.

"If the rest of the house had caught on fire, there's no way I could have gotten away from it," said Gretchen's stepmother Misty Caldwell as she fought back tears.

"Most kids don't know what to do in case of a fire and she's a special little girl," said Success Volunteer Firefighter Alex Lane.

"A lot of kids like to hide under the bed or in the closet," said Catt, "But Gretchen took matters into her own hands."

And it's those hands that show a hero can come in any size.

"I saved them and the fireman come and got it out," said Oscarson as her classmates crowded around her to see her award.

"I'm very proud of her," said Caldwell.

Also responding to the fire was the Biggers-Reyno Fire Department, the Corning Fire Department and the Arkansas Methodist Hospital Ambulance Service.