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Bristol boy’s dream of fire saves family’s life | RatChatter

Bristol boy’s dream of fire saves family’s life

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Mar 21, 2013 in Rat News | Subscribe

He was dreaming that his home was on fire – a mobile home on Vance Drive, where he lived with his parents, three dogs, two cats, and pet rats and fish.

The dream was so realistic, he said, that he woke up.

That dream, and his keen nose, likely saved his family.

“I smelled the smoke and then I woke up and looked down to the left,” he said. “There was fire on the top of the door.”

He ran down the hall to the bedroom of his mom and stepfather.

“He came to our bedroom screaming,” said his mom, Misty Dunbar. “That fire started on the other side of the headboard from where he was sleeping. If he hadn’t done that he would’ve died and we probably would’ve died of smoke inhalation. He’s mama’s hero.”

Her husband, Charlie Dunbar, said he wished he was dreaming about the fire when Derek woke the couple up.

“It only took a split second and then it [what was happening] smacked me and I woke up,” he said.

Misty Dunbar said Derek grabbed the dog that sleeps in his room before he ran to warn them of the blaze. That dog, and the other dog that lives outside, survived the fire. The two cats were seen outside Monday, but a third dog and Derek’s pet rats and fish perished in the flames, Dunbar said.

The electrical fire started from overloaded extension cords and power strips, said Jack Spurgeon, assistant fire chief of the Bristol Tennessee Fire Department. Firefighters got the call around 6:20 a.m., he said, and were on scene within seven minutes.

“In about 13 minutes we had the fire under control,” he said.

Firefighters went into the rubble and retrieved Dunbar’s glasses, she said, and the family’s cell phone and her pocketbook.

“I can’t believe it, but they saved my tennis shoes that were out in the hall,” Derek said. “And a bag of clothes.”

The family lost almost everything, Dunbar said, and she had just dropped insurance on the home six months earlier, when she was between jobs.

“I’ve been here for 12 years,” she said, adding that she celebrated her birthday the day before. “That’s 12 years of my life just burnt down.”

Dunbar said the American Red Cross will help the family stay in a hotel for three days, but after that she’s not sure where they’ll go.

“We’ve been here all day,” she said Monday afternoon, standing in front of the trailer’s remains. “We ain’t left. Just trying to get a few things – our burnt pictures, anything we have.”

But, she said, the family is alive, and that’s the important thing.

“I’m very lucky to have a smart kid,” she said. “He’s mommy’s hero and he doesn’t even realize it.”

Charlie Dunbar teased Derek about getting a Superman tattoo put on his chest now.

“Kids can be heroes, too,” he said to Derek. “You’re our little Superman.”



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