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ORFD, ORPD honor teen who saved home from fire

(City of Oak Ridge press release) The City of Oak Ridge, Oak Ridge Fire Department, and Oak Ridge Police Department recognized a local student on March 21 for his quick actions to stop a fire from spreading inside his home last year. 

When a slow cooker in his kitchen caught fire on Halloween, Wesley Alig used skills he learned in Oak Ridge’s Junior Police Academy (JPA) to successfully operate a fire extinguisher. Wesley, a 13-year-old student at Jefferson Middle School, is a graduate of the 2018 JPA class. 

The incident happened at the Alig family’s home on Heritage Drive in Oak Ridge. Wesley told first responders he heard a popping noise coming from the slow cooker. When he walked into the kitchen to check, he saw flames on the stovetop. 

Wesley immediately grabbed a fire extinguisher and sprayed the stove and countertop, extinguishing the fire before flames could spread or cause additional damage. Wesley then called 911 and got himself and a pet safely out of the house where he waited for firefighters. 

Moments later, responding emergency crews confirmed the fire was out and that no one was hurt. Their investigation determined the fire to be accidental, the result of a burner that was unintentionally turned on under the slow cooker. The kitchen area suffered minor damage. 

“What Wesley was able to do in a stressful situation is a perfect example of why we host these special events for our local kids,” explained ORFD Chief Darryl Kerley. “Accidents happen, and Wesley remembered his training when it mattered most.” 

In recognition of Wesley’s actions, Oak Ridge Fire Department personnel presented him with their first-ever Outstanding Contribution to Fire Prevention Award during Thursday’s ceremony at Fire Station #3. Wesley took a ride in a fire engine and thanked Oak Ridge first responders for the opportunity to learn fire safety and other skills through the JPA program. 

For additional information, please contact the Oak Ridge Fire Department at (865) 425-3520.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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