Aragon student’s bravery saves home from flames
December 16, 2010 — Due to quick thinking and heroism from a brave Aragon Middle School student, a Cypress-area home is still standing today.
Eighth-grade student Nicholas Burleson and his mother were driving to the mailboxes in their Copper Lakes neighborhood on Monday afternoon when Nicholas spotted black smoke coming from one of his neighbor’s homes.
“You could smell wood burning when we were at the mailboxes,” recalls Nicholas. “We went back and parked the car in the driveway, and me and my mom walked over to a house we thought was on fire. It was actually the one next door to that one.”
His mother rang the doorbell of the house on Brighton Lake Lane, and when no one answered she called 9-1-1. Seeing that the detached garage was on fire and was inaccessible behind a wrought iron fence, Nicholas took action.
“I could see that the flames were pretty big and the ashes were coming down, and so I just climbed over the fence while my mom was calling 9-1-1,” he said. “I was looking for a water hose and I found one in their driveway, and I just started putting out the fire.
“I wasn’t really scared; I really wasn’t thinking about it that much. I think my mom was a little scared for me, though, because she kept telling me to be careful and everything.”
Firefighters arrived to finish the job after Nicholas had hosed down the garage for about five minutes to control the flames.
The owner of the home, Stan Morrow, was on Barker Cypress Road getting his car washed when he received a call from his alarm company.
“They told me the motion detector had gone off in my garage, so I rushed home as fast as I could and saw all these fire trucks sitting outside my house,” Morrow said. “My heart nearly fell to the ground.”
He said his jaw dropped as well when the firefighters relayed to him what had happened.
“It’s pretty awesome, because this kid is only 13 years old,” Morrow said. “I am so thankful that he was brave enough to jump the fence. One of the fire inspectors told me that if he hadn’t done what he did, I might have lost my entire garage and half my house because of the way the flames were spreading and the wind was blowing. But less than 2 percent of the property had damage, and I didn’t even have to get insurance involved.
“Thank God we have good neighbors around us and good kids like him that are willing to help people they don’t even know.”
Morrow later went over to the Burlesons’ house to thank them personally, and indicated that a reward would be coming for Nicholas once he returned to town from a business trip.
Aragon principal Jill Smith presented Nicholas with a certificate of bravery on Thursday, but Nicholas—a member of the Superintendent’s Student Leadership Conference (SSLC) advisory group at Aragon—said he doesn’t think of himself as a hero.
“No, not really,” he said. “It’s just something that anyone would do to help someone else.”
But Shannon Conn, a teacher at Warner Elementary School—who is Morrow’s daughter—disagrees.
“Nicholas is exactly the kind of hero that Cy-Fair students should be known for,” she said. “We teach our students these character traits, and it always warms my heart to see them carried out in such an amazing way.”