Jackson Middle School student saves family from fire using lessons learned at school

Jackson Middle School sixth-grader Ruth Nyaberi was recognized Oct. 12 for her quick thinking when a fire started in her house. From left,Jackson Middle School sixth grade assistant principal Tim Sukalski, Nyaberi, Brooklyn Park Fire Chief Ken Prillaman, and Brooklyn Park fire prevention coordinator Mark Lynde. (Photo courtesy of Anoka-Hennepin Schools)

Jackson Middle School sixth-grader Ruth Nyaberi was recognized Oct. 12 for her quick thinking when a fire started in her house. From left,Jackson Middle School sixth grade assistant principal Tim Sukalski, Nyaberi, Brooklyn Park Fire Chief Ken Prillaman, and Brooklyn Park fire prevention coordinator Mark Lynde. (Photo courtesy of Anoka-Hennepin Schools)

Ruth Nyaberi blushes when she’s called a hero, but local fire officials said the sixth grader definitely acted heroically on the night there was a fire in her home.
Not only is she credited with saving her family, but maybe the house, too, according to Brooklyn Park Fire Chief Ken Prillaman, who recognized Ruth’s actions with an award on Oct. 12 at her school, Jackson Middle School.

“Getting an award is nice,” Ruth said, “But at the time it was scary. And I didn’t know if my family could do anything, so I tried.”
The scary situation started around 8 p.m. on Sept. 28. Everything was normal — so normal that Ruth doesn’t remember what she was doing when her sister suddenly called out to her.
“There’s a fire in the kitchen,” Ruth remembers her sister yelling.
It turns out the chicken their grandma was making for dinner had started on fire in the stove. That’s when Ruth says the things she learned in school when she was a student at Champlin-Brooklyn Park Academy popped into her head.

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