Everyday Heroes

Teens Save 90-Year Old Neighbor From Her Burning Home

Her 10 children and 42 grandchildren are grateful to 4 teens who rushed to save her.


53 people think four young men outside of Tulsa Oklahoma are true heroes.

Why 53? One of them is 90-year old Catherine Ritchie. The rest are her 10 children and 42 grandchildren who are grateful she's alive, thanks to the quick thinking and bravery of four young neighbors.

According to a blog written by Mrs. Ritchie's daughter Missy, her mother was getting ready for bed when she turned to find her bed on fire. She tried to put out the fire but got disoriented, so much so that she thought her closet was the door to the hallway. She was trapped.

Lucky for her, four neighbor boys, aged 14 to 17, were headed out to a local convenience store. They smelled smoke, then saw flames and immediately ran to help. One broke the glass on the front door. Another called 911, one went to the back door and kicked it in and the fourth guy ran to get additional help.

KTUL-TV says 14-year old Nick Byrd was the first to reach Mrs. Ritchie . Nick (far left in the picture at the top of this story) picked her up and carried her out over her protest that she could walk on her own! "I just kind of heard her," Nick Byrd told KTUL reporter Tyler Butler. "I went to the right of the house, and no one was there. I went to the left of the house, and I saw her in the hallway, so I just grabbed her."

Catherine, front and center, with her 10 children.

Ritchie's daughter writes: "Kids who are told about all the things they aren't old enough to do saved the life of the most precious and beloved woman we know. Courageous young men. Young men who risked their own lives, their own safety. Thank you for not allowing this to be the tragic end to our mother's amazing life."

"God Bless each of you for being such a blessing to us." Missy Ritchie Nicholas

(Images: Missy Ritchie Nicholas, KTUL-TV)

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