MCEWEN, Tenn. (WTVF) — A home bursts into flames with an unsuspecting family inside.
And this story might have a very different ending if not for the quick action of a 9-year-old boy, who discovered the fire and alerted everyone to get out. Their dramatic escape was caught on video.
The home was a total loss and it's incredibly lucky the family — including four small children — were able to make it out safely. Not much is left of the home in McEwen.
It was a very close call, and the key to everyone's survival was a single moment captured on video.
Four siblings — ages nine, seven, five and three — were watching TV around 8:30 p.m. last Thursday. Tristan — the 9-year-old — was sitting at the end of the couch when something went amiss.
"I heard this pop noise in the office room and I smelled smoke," he said.
He got up, opened the door and found the room was on fire.
"It scared me bad," said Tristan who then ran to warn his mother, who was napping, and his father who was in the garage.
"He came running down the hall screaming, 'Mom, there's a fire. Mom, there's a fire,'" said Tracey Cook.
She guesses that the fire engulfed their home in a just matter of minutes.
Tristan's three siblings had followed him out of the room, and the family made it safely outside.
Only later did Cook look at video from cameras she set up in the home to keep an eye on her children when she saw Tristan's quick action.
"I was so proud and so blessed. He got us all out. He warned us all," she said.
The home is a total loss, but the family says they'll rebuild.
It can be replaced.
She is just thankful the kids escaped unharmed.
"But if anything had happened to them I wouldn't be able to wake up. I mean we are family," Cook said.
It's believed the fire started the result of an electrical short of some type.
The family did lose almost everything in the fire including all the kids' Christmas gifts, but they say those in the McEwen community have stepped up to help replace them all.