Girl named official deputy fire marshal after saving her family during house fire

Image 1 of 5

Credit: Mitch Talley

The life-saving actions of an 8-year-old, Adrienne Dunn, a third-grader at Antioch Elementary, credits

The Whitfield County Fire Department’s Clown Posse with helping her save her family during a recent house fire.

Whitfield County’s Clown Posse has been teaching youngsters about fire safety for the past 15 years.

An electrical problem in the hood over the stove in the kitchen started a fire, which spread quickly after it jumped to the pans below with grease in them on June 5. Adrienne smelled smoke while watching TV in her room and came running in to tell her parents there was a fire in the kitchen.

Her father grabbed a burning pan and ran outside with it, in the process slipping and falling and suffering second- and third-degree burns on his legs. He had to spend some time recovering in the burn unit at Kennesaw, but knows it could have been much worse.

“She did good,” Jason, her father said. “She moved quickly, and that’s what was important.”

Likewise, her mom described her little hero as “awesome.”

The number of fires involving lighters and children has decreased over the years. The fire at the Dunns’ home turned into an opportunity for the Clown Posse to share more fire safety messages.

After the fire, the family’s landlord had an electrician check out all the wiring in the house and install three new smoke detectors and place a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. The old detector didn’t work during the fire, offering the Clown Posse another chance to educate folks about the importance of checking their alarms on a regular basis to make sure they’re working.

Fire Chief Ed O’Brien led a tour of the fire station for Adrienne and her family, who were all treated to a ride in a fire engine, complete with siren and flashing lights.

“This certifies that Adrienne Dunn has been appointed an official deputy fire marshal for her quick thinking in the fire at her residence,” Lt. Chris West said, reading from a certificate presented to the smiling youngster during a recent ceremony at Station 8, a smile that grew even wider when he handed her a $50 gift card to Walmart for her bravery.