CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – A sleeping teenager who jumped awake and into action is being credited with saving his family from an early morning fire.

Alijiah McAfee, 15 was sleeping in his basement bedroom Monday morning when the smell of smoke woke him.

“The whole basement was smoky so I figured that something was going down. I checked my windows to see if they were open and I have a window under the deck so I could see the fire from the deck and that’s when I went to go grab my parents,” Mcafee said.

Alijiah McAfee (credit: CBS)

Alijiah McAfee (credit: CBS)

All five people living in the home were able to safely escape the blaze. Alihjah’s parents told CBS4 they were sound asleep and cannot imagine what would have happened had their son not woken up.

“When the fire was going down, everybody was asleep; I woke them up because I had seen there was a fire in the house. Then we started throwing water on it, me and my dad were but the fire department was already on their way,” McAfee said.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Cunningham Fire along with South Metro firefighters were dispatched to the home at 3:27 a.m. When crews arrived, they said flames were visible on the back side of the home. They were able to knock down the fire within four minutes of arriving and fortunately it was contained to only the deck.

The cause of the fire was a charcoal grill. The family had been barbecuing Sunday and thought the coals were out.

Firefighters say this is an excellent reminder to monitor your grills and remember, coals can burn long after you are done grilling.


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