11-year-old Georgia girl alerts family to house fire, likely saving lives

Dec 30, 2023, 10:33 AM | Updated: 10:34 am

FAIRBURN, Georgia (WANF) — Eleven-year-old Autumn Hampton hadn’t been able to sleep because she wasn’t feeling well, she said. Suddenly, at about 4:30 a.m. on Friday, she smelled something strange — and she heard something, too.

“You could hear something from the attic,” Autumn said, “and it sounded like popcorn popping.”

That’s when she woke up her mom.

“We saw the attic. It was on fire,” she said.

Autumn and her mom then jumped into action, rounding up Autumn’s brothers and the family’s dogs at the house off Woodland Hills Drive in Fairburn.

Fairburn Fire Chief Cornelius Robinson said Autumn’s sense of smell and awareness likely saved her family.

“If it hadn’t been for her, we probably would’ve faced a possible fatality,” he said. “It’s just a blessing what she’s done to notify her mom.”

Autumn’s mom Jocelyn said she feels blessed and is proud of her daughter.

“Had she not said, ‘Mommy, did you hear that and smell that?’ I wouldn’t have opened the door and gotten everybody out of the house,” Hampton said.

“Probably the only little casualty is that my brother owned fish and that they are probably gone,” Autumn said, “but everyone got out safely and stuff.”

The fire chief said the home is likely a total loss, along with most of its contents. Investigators are now working to determine what caused the fire.

Red Cross volunteers are helping the family with immediate necessities. Most of their belongings will have to be replaced.

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11-year-old Georgia girl alerts family to house fire, likely saving lives