EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — The O’Connor family was sound asleep Saturday night when their 8-year-old son, Kane, woke to the smell of smoke in their home in the Normsdale Mobile Home Park off Ocean Heights Avenue.

Kane was sleeping in the room with his 4-year-old sister. He saw fire on the floor of their bedroom and sprang into action, waking his little sister and helping her get out of the room, Scullville Volunteer Fire Company Chief Steve Prisament said.

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He then woke his parents, and everyone escaped safely before flames destroyed the home, Prisament said.

“The family lost everything,” he said.

Everything but their lives, thanks to Kane, who will be honored by his school and the Fire Department on Thursday. Prisament said he will present O’Connor with an award to signify his valor and courage.

“I heard this boy is depressed because he lost all of his things, all of his toys, but he needs to know he did a really great thing,” Prisament said. “He took active steps that saved his family’s lives.”

A fire inspector has ruled the fire accidental.

The story of Kane’s bravery is a clear sign fire prevention education works, he said.

“This is exactly why we go out into the schools and into the community — to teach kids what to do when this happens,” Prisament said.

In addition to Scullville, the Bargaintown Volunteer Fire Company, Egg Harbor Township Ambulance Squad and Somers Point Rapid Intervention Team responded. Red Cross Southern Shore assisted with temporary accommodations.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family purchase new clothes, toys, personal items and more. Gift card donations also are being accepted at Slaybaugh Primary School.

To contribute through the GoFundMe page, visit

Staff Writer Erin Serpico contributed to this report.

Contact: 609-601-5194

Contact: 609-272-7090

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