HOOSICK -- A third-grade student's quick thinking likely saved the lives of his two younger brothers and their parents after a fire ignited in their Town of Hoosick home.
Eight-year-old Andrew Stratton was honored in front of his classmates by the Hoosick Fire Department on Monday. Firefighters presented him with an award of recognition for his "heroic acts and quick thinking."
"This is what we hope for. We try to teach these kids fire prevention in the schools every year, and he did the right thing," said Hoosick Fire Department Captain Leo Surdam.
The entire Stratton family was at home on the evening of Nov. 20, when Andrew woke up and noticed a light on in the bedroom next door, shared by his two younger brothers, Carter and Ben.
He went to check on them and noticed the two small boys, ages 2 and 4, had been playing under the covers with a lamp that was not their regular nightlight.
Realizing that the sheets were already starting to catch on fire, Andrew quickly got his brothers out of the room and yelled for help, alerting their mother.
"It could have been a major tragedy," said Andrew's grandmother, Mary Ann Hanselman. "He is a wonderful brother."
The fire department did not respond to the incident at the time, but learned of Andrew's brave act through Hanselman.
"He was upset because he was so scared," said Hanselman. "He knew his brothers could have been hurt."
The entire family including parents Tiffany and Tim Stratton were on hand at Hoosick Falls Central School on Monday, to witness their oldest son being honored.
"This is the outcome we hope for. It only takes a couple minutes for a bedroom to go up in flames and he did a good job," said Surdam.
"He was surprised, but we just knew we wanted to do something for him," said Surdam of the surprise recognition ceremony.
According to Hanselman, Andrew's teacher assigned each student in the class to write their daily journal entry about his correct response to the fire, which was then turned into a book for him, written entirely by his classmates.
"We're very proud of him for knowing what to do, and potentially saving his brothers and their home," said Hanselman.
The oldest child and protector of his siblings, Andrew will soon have a little sister to look out for as well.
"He is just the best older brother," said Hanselman. "And he's our hero."
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