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Heroic student to receive commendation for alerting family to fire

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after alerting family to dangerous house fire


WHO: Tampa Fire Rescue Chief Barbara Tripp, Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Addison Davis, Jonathan Sanchez
DATE: Friday, April 22, 2022 at 9:00 AM
LOCATION: Mitchell Elementary School (205 S. Bungalow Park Ave.)
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Tampa Fire Rescue Fire Chief Barbara Tripp and HCPS Superintendent Addison Davis will recognize Jonathan Sanchez, age 7, with the Fire Chief’s Commendation for his heroic actions in the early morning hours of January 30th, 2022.

A little after midnight, Jonathan awoke to the sounds of his young twin brothers coughing in the room next to his. Out of concern for his brothers, he got out of bed and immediately knew something was wrong.

Jonathan could see and smell smoke. He peered into the living room and saw an increasing amount of smoke filling the house. Jonathan recognized the seriousness of the situation and jumped into action, running to wake his parents.

With his mom and dad awake, and the smoke detectors only just then starting to sound, Jonathan helped get his family out of the house. His father called 911 to report the fire and tried to return inside to retrieve a few important items, but the fire and smoke had grown too rapidly.
Tampa Fire Rescue crews said that because the fire started in the crawl space below the fireplace, and the high winds that day, the fire was able to intensify while delaying the activation of the smoke detectors. This resulted in a dangerous combination of circumstances. It was only when the fire was large enough to breach the wall and floor did the house begin to fill rapidly with smoke.  
"The Sanchez family was able to just get to safety in time," Chief Barbara Tripp said. "If not for Jonathan hearing his brothers coughing and not hesitating to act, this night could have turned out much differently. We commend Jonathan for his courageous action in the face of danger."