Child hero honored by fire departments

By: 
Liz Kearney
Winans School students saw one of their own honored by firefighters during a school assembly Thursday afternoon. 
 
Raelynn Sukhbir, 7, a second-grader at Winans, made the front page of The Enterprise Sept. 18 after it learned she had woken up Sept. 13 to the sound of glass breaking near the fire, located on an upstairs deck above her bedroom. She calmly alerted her family to a fire in their Wineglass area home in the early morning hours of Sept. 13. 
 
Raelynn said she knew what to do in case of fire because she remembered a fire safety presentation Livingston Fire and Rescue Captain Josh Pierce had made to her first-grade last October. 
 
The night of the fire, Raelynn got her little brother, Wyatt, 3, and went outside. Her mother, Brittany, made sure the family’s dogs were outside while her father, Kyle, began fighting the fire. 
 
By the time Park County Rural Fire arrived, the fire was mostly out, and everybody was safe, Chief Dann Babcox told the assembly Thursday.  
 
“Raelynn knew exactly what to do and stayed really calm,” Babcox said. 
 
Babcox and Livingston Fire and Rescue Captain Josh Pierce, along with other crew members, had come to Winans to present Raelynn with two awards for her bravery. Babcox presented Raelynn with a plaque, a “Big Sister Hero Award” and Pierce presented a framed certificate that cited her quick-thinking and bravery. 
 
Pierce then spoke for a few minutes, using the time as a chance to make another fire safety lesson. 
 
“Go home tonight and ask your mom and dad to check the batteries in your smoke detectors,” Pierce said. “Smoke comes fire, so it’s really important your smoke detectors work, so if there’s a fire in your house you’ll know it.” 
 
Then the assembled children clapped and cheered, while Brittany and Kyle Sukhbir watched proudly from the rear of the gym. Brittany quietly wiped tears from her eyes as she watched her daughter receive her awards.
 
-----
Liz Kearney may be reached at lkearney@livent.net.