Hero West Fargo kids put out fire with Super Soakers, save neighbor's life

Fire but no firefighters around? Ask Devon Johnson for help.

Fire but no firefighters around? Ask Devon Johnson for help.

Some see kids running around with water guns and think of them as a mischievous reminder of lost childhood innocence. Others just a loud annoyance.

Instead, what we should all be seeing are volunteer firefighters on a temporary break. 

A group of neighborhood kids in West Fargo, North Dakota, are getting full credit for putting out a small fire that was poised to grow, and with tragic consequences. The resident of the home in question is on an oxygen tank, making it impossible for the homeowner to either leave the house or approach a fire to put it out.

The Fargo Forum reports that a group of five boys and girls happened to be outside their West Fargo apartment complex when they smelled smoke, and saw that a planter had caught fire on the deck of one of the units. 

The flames eventually reached up and started burning the building's siding and some of the wooden deck, but this fire had no chance with these kids on the job.

“They had some super soakers, so they had some pretty good range,” said Daniel Fuller, chief of the West Fargo Fire Department. “They had to refill a couple of times but they pretty much got the fire out."

Fuller said firefighters en route to the scene heard that neighbors had been able to put out the fire, but thought they'd be a little, you know, older. In fact, they're all students at a nearby elementary school, and have taken a commanding lead for coolest entries in next year's "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" assignment.

Devon Johnson, one of the calm-under-pressure kids, tells WDAY he was "a little nervous at first," but got over it. He and two successfully other kids battled the fire, while another pair ran around to alert adults, including the apartment resident in danger.

"It's pretty unusual," says Fuller, who says the kids probably saved the life of the ailing renter, if not the entire apartment building. 

It might seem unusual, Chief Fuller, but that's just because kids don't make a big deal out of it when they're running around saving lives. They don't put out statements or hold press conferences. They have more important things to do. Like getting back to that water gun fight.