5-year old awarded after helping save grandma from burning house in Harnett County

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Thursday, October 24, 2019
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Thursday afternoon, the North Carolina Department of Insurance Commissioner awarded Taylor after she spotted smoke coming from her grandmother's home.

HARNETT COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Weeks later, Leafy West still wonders about what would have happened if her daughter had not spotted smoke coming from her grandmother's house.

"I probably would have found out too late," said West, from the garage of the Angier & Black River Fire Department in Harnett County on Thursday afternoon.

Sitting on her lap, her granddaughter Taylor, who spotted smoke while she was outside her grandmother's home on October 8th.

"She called me - come here grandma, come here, come here. And I ran out and there was smoke. And then we went outside to see how bad it was, and then we ran back in to get the fire extinguisher, but then we just dropped it and ran out," said West.

The fire department, which is located down the street, quickly responded to the home.

Thursday, the North Carolina Department of Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey awarded Taylor the Commissioner's Award for Heroism.

"Exciting," said Taylor.

The fire department also gave her a Barbie doll of a firefighter, to go along with goody bags from the Department of Insurance.

"I'm a proud mom right now," said Jamie Coombs, Taylor's mom.

While Taylor is not yet in kindergarten, Coombs used course materials from her older sons' class about fire safety to teach Taylor.

"Everybody should read to their kids. I think everybody should realize that the kids pick up on a lot more than what you know they pick up on it," Coombs said.

West has insurance on the home, and they are currently going through the process of reviewing the damage.