MARGATE — A 5-year-old girl staying at her grandmother’s over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend helped keep a fire from burning down a neighbor’s house.
Lilly Blecker, 5, of Brooklyn, New York alerted her grandmother and her parents Sunday morning after she saw smoke coming from the side of the neighboring home in the 100 block of Granville Avenue, according to Margate Fire Chief Daniel Adams.
When Lilly told her parents and grandmother she saw smoke, they thought initially it was coming from the beach, said Nina Blecker, her mother.
“My husband, her father, he went out to inspect,” Blecker said. 911 was called after he determined the smoke was not coming from the beach.
“We were very proud that she saw something and told us about it,” Blecker said. “It goes to show that we should always listen to our children.”
Chief Adams brought Lilly a stuffed fire bear and a stuffed fire dog as a means of saying thank you for her quick actions, Blecker said.
The family is very happy they happened to be at the grandmother’s house over the holiday weekend and Lilly noticed the fire so quickly.
“The biggest concern is that the house that was on fire was a summer home,” said Blecker, who added if no one was around, it could have burned much longer.
Margate firefighters initially requested help from nearby towns and brought in off-duty personnel. But the fire, on an exterior wall, was quickly extinguished, Adams said in a statement, and the second alarm was canceled. There was no sign of any fire or smoke on the interior of the residence.
Fire investigator Capt. Kyle Smith of the Ventnor City Fire Department confirmed the cause of the fire was most likely electrical, ruling out any other source of ignition.
Adams said the fire could have been worse if it not for Lilly Blecker’s actions.
“Lilly should be commended for knowing what to do when she saw the fire and alerting her parents immediately, who called 911,” Adams wrote.
“The Margate City Fire Department is grateful and thankful for Lilly’s quick actions averting a potential tragedy,” he wrote.
After the fire was out, city fire and police officials told Lilly she was a hero, and her daughter knows she did a good thing, Blecker said.