Youngsters named Honorary Firefighters for heroism

Eight-year-old Sirr Lane and Mia Zarate, 6, are recognized as Honorary Firefighters during Tuesday’s meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. Pictured with them are Fayetteville firefighters, Mayor Michael Whisenant, and Fire Chief Jim Baldwin.

The Fayetteville Fire Department and Fayetteville Board of Mayor and Aldermen named two local children Honorary Firefighters last week for their heroic efforts three months ago in awakening their family and alerting them to a fire.

“We had a tragic event in regard to a structure fire at the end of last year, but we had some heroes in this event and we’d like to do, at the recommendation of Mr. Baldwin a resolution for two young children who awoke members of their family,” said Mayor Michael Whisenant in Tuesday’s City Board meeting, adding that the children’s actions averted an even greater tragedy.

Honored for their heroism were 8-year-old Sirr Lane and 6-year-old Mia Zarate, who awakened their family of seven, which included a 1-year-old baby, and evacuated them from their burning residence at 612 Adams Street on Oct. 25, 2019.

“Whereas, Sirr Lane and Mia Zarate, despite facing suffering and distress, demonstrated heroism throughout this tragic event; and whereas, these young heroes are truly deserving of special recognition for their determination and bravery in facing this trauma, and it is truly fitting to pay tribute to their courageous efforts,” said the mayor as he read resolutions honoring the pair.

“Now, be it resolved, by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, that we hereby commend Sirr Lane and Mia Zarate for their exceptional heroism and fearlessness by naming them Honorary Firefighters,” he said as the board went on to approve the resolutions unanimously.

A round of applause honored the children as they came forward for the presentation of the resolutions by Whisenant and the presentation of their firefighters’ helmets by Fire Chief Jim Baldwin. Firefighters with the department were also on hand to congratulate the children.

According to The Times’ report when the fire occurred, the fire apparently started with a space heater in the children’s bedroom. Dispatchers received the call at about 6 a.m., and even though firefighters arrived within minutes, the home was quickly engulfed.

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