Duluth teen saves family's lives from early morning structure fire | www.WDIO.com

Duluth teen saves family's lives from early morning structure fire

Updated: June 08, 2021 09:30 PM
Created: June 08, 2021 07:52 AM

Lizzy Grayhawk, a 15-year-old, is being credited with saving her family’s lives during a structure fire that happened early this morning.

"I was real scared because I just didn't know what was going on," she said Tuesday afternoon. 

But despite her confusion, the Duluth Fire Department says she did the right thing. 

“Thanks to the quick thinking of a fifteen-year-old who alerted her family to the fire, they were all able to get out of the home safely,” Assistant Chief Dennis Edwards said. “If she hadn’t woken up, and notified her parents, this could have been a different situation. She was very brave.”

Duluth firefighters were dispatched at 12:49 a.m. to the house fire.

On arrival, crews from the UMD Station reported heavy fire coming from a second story window on the front of a family home on the 1100 block of East 10th Street. 

Lizzy said she woke up because she felt heat on her side.

"Just like a month ago, I had gotten this brand new tapestry, and it was my favorite. It was so beautiful. And I had LED lights right above it. It was looking so good," she said. "I woke up because it was getting real hot on the side of me and my whole tapestry was on fire and the LED lights. And then the stuff on my top bunk were on fire. It was really scary."

She first thought maybe she could put it out but then thought better and woke her parents. The family includes four adults and four children. All were home at the time, and all escaped the fire.

"Within minutes, a huge fireball flew down the stairs and blew out glass and slammed the doors. And that was the way we came out," mom Chelsie Grayhawk said. "So within minutes, we would have -- it wouldn't have ended so good." 

Fire crews searched the building's two floors and basement for any occupants including two cats. The cats likely escaped the fire as they were not located and doors had been left open by the escaping residents.

One adult suffered burns to his hand while trying to extinguish the fire before exiting. He was transported by Mayo Ambulance to a local hospital and was treated and released. Damage is estimated at $75,000 to the structure and $50,000 to the contents.

"We've got a long road ahead of us. Everything was lost in the fire. And it doesn't look like we're going to be able to save much. So we're starting over from scratch," Chelsie Grayhawk said. 

A GoFundMe has been started to help the family cover expenses

The Duluth Fire Marshal concluded it was an accidental electrical fire.

The Red Cross is assisting the Grayhawk family, who are displaced by the fire. The Duluth Police Department and Minnesota Power also assisted at the scene. There were no injuries to firefighters.

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