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A couple recovering from COVID-19 couldn’t smell the smoke when their home caught fire.  Their toddler saved the family.

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A couple recovering from COVID-19 couldn’t smell the smoke when their home caught fire. Their toddler saved the family.

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“If it hadn’t been for my son’s guardian angel that morning, I don’t know where we would be.”

Decatur Fire Department

Kayla and Nathan Dahl were sleeping soundly when their toddler approached their bed one recent morning to utter two of the few words he knows so far – words that would save his family from harm.

“Mom, hot,” said Brandon, who turns 2 on Sunday, while tugging on his mother’s foot.

Initially, Kayla, 28, said she thought her son just wanted to take his pajamas off. But seconds later, she realized what her youngest child was trying to tell her: the family’s one-story colonial home in Alvord, Texas, was engulfed in flames.

None of the smoke detectors in their home went off. And the Dahls, who had recently tested positive for the coronavirus, couldn’t smell the smoke filling their home.

“We were still recovering from covid, so neither of us had our sense of taste and smell,” Kayla told The Washington Post in an interview.

Within minutes, the couple and their five children managed to escape unharmed through the front door. But their entire home was consumed by flames, Kayla told the Post.

“It’s going to be a long, hard road to get to where we need to be and to replace those hardware items,” she said. “But at the same time, if it hadn’t been for my son’s guardian angel that morning, I don’t know where we would be.”

On the morning of Jan. 15, Brandon wasn’t sleeping in the bedroom he shares with one of his older brothers, Kayla said. He hadn’t been feeling well the night before, so the toddler slept in the living room that connects to his parents’ bedroom, where they could better watch him.

At around 4:30 a.m., Brandon managed to escape from the living room, which was already on fire, to alert his parents to the fire.

“Somehow, by the grace of God, he was able to get out of our living room almost completely swallowed up in our bedroom,” Kayla told the Post. ” . . . It’s a miracle of God that he could do that.

After Brandon woke Kayla, she saw high flames spreading towards their bedroom, she said. “At that point, I thought, ‘We need to get our kids and get out. “

Kayla grabbed her mobile phone to call 911 and fled the house while her husband – a 33-year-old volunteer firefighter – got Brandon and his four siblings to safety.

Although the smoke detectors, which the couple say they recently checked, did not go off, Kayla said the family had practiced fire drills and escape routes for each room.

Once outside, the family stood at their neighbor’s house waiting for firefighters to arrive, Kayla said. By then, the fire had spread to the three-bedroom house they had lived in for almost six years. The family’s car and truck were also lost in the fire, Kayla said.

The couple and their children are now living with the family until they find a rental home. They borrow vehicles from friends and family to run errands. Kayla’s best friend set up a GoFundMe page to help the family with immediate expenses.

Next weekend, the Dahls plan to throw a little party for Brandon. The toddler will be surprised with a “Baby Shark” cake.

“I don’t think he fully understands the impact of what he’s done and the good thing he is,” Kayla said. “But he relishes the abundance of attention. If we go to Walmart or the gas station and someone recognizes us on the news, they’ll pat them on the back and try to shake their hand. [saying], ‘You are a hero! I’m so happy to meet a hero!’ “



A couple recovering from COVID-19 couldn’t smell the smoke when their home caught fire. Their toddler saved the family.

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