There's nothing quite like hearing an amazing rescue story to put life into perspective - especially whenever it happens with a boy and his mama. That is exactly what happened on Wednesday in Dracut and the story will fill your heart with so much joy.
Last week, firefighters were called to 152 Varnum Ave. around 1 p.m. by a teenage girl’s 911 call, according to Deputy Chief Thomas Mackey.
“One of the children that lived there called 911 stating she heard (smoke) detectors going off and smoke was filling the upstairs,” Mackey said.
Dracut schools had an early dismissal on the day of the fire, which meant that Carolann Oakes was at home during the time that the dangerous fire broke out in the families home.
Doing what all mothers would do, she helped all of her children and the family’s pets escape, and then tried to use a fire extinguisher to put out the flames, according to Oakes’ mother, Nancy Walsh. The flames quickly got out of control and she lost consciousness, according to Walsh.
“She was overcome by smoke and heat,” Mackey said.
Oakes son, 13-year-old grandson, Joshua Oakes Jr very bravely went back inside the family home and dragged his unconscious mother out to safety.
“He saw her lying on the floor and dragged her out,” Walsh said. “He saved my daughter’s life.”
The Dracut firefighters arrived at the house and were luckily able to put out the first in a short twenty minute period. Upon arrival at the scene, the firefighters discovered the mother was suffering from smoke inhalation and took her to Lowell General Hospital, where she was then airlifted to Brigham & Women’s Hospital by MedFlight. She has since recovered well, according to Mackey and Walsh.
Upon further investigation, the firefighters were able to determine that the cause of the fire was accidental and they praised the teenage girl who called 911.
It's truly amazing what the human body is capable of doing during moments of distress when adrenaline is pumping. Thankfully, Joshua sprung to action and bravely rescued his mother and saved her life.
In a Facebook post, Walsh shared that their family home will be unlivable for quite some time and that they will be raising money through a GoFundMe. Their family includes 6-year-old twins as well as the 13-year-old son and 15-year-old daughter, Walsh said.
Additionally, to aid in the family's recovery efforts, State Rep. Colleen Garry is collecting gift cards for the family at her office at 101 Broadway Road, Suite 11, in Dracut. She is also hard at work trying help the family find a rental home in Dracut so they can stay in town while their home is being fixed.