The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

June 7, 2013

Good Hope teen saves family in house fire

— GOOD HOPE, Ala. (AP) — Good Hope football player Hunter Freeman was taking clothes to the laundry room when he noticed smoke coming from the ceiling of his house. After taking a closer look, he realized his home was becoming engulfed in flames and ran to wake up his dad.

Because of Hunter's alertness, the Freeman family said their 14-year-old son saved their lives. Hunter's sister Larisa and friend Marie were still asleep, as well as Hunter's father, John.

"I was already awake, I was just laying in bed," Hunter said. "I smelled smoke so I thought dad was cooking, but he was in bed, too. So I just laid there thinking someone was going to come and tell me food was ready and no one ever did. I just happened to get up to take my clothes to the laundry room to wash them and I saw black smoke on the ceiling and realized the column and grapevine were on fire. I dropped the laundry and ran to my dad's room and told him the house was on fire, and dad said, 'Whose house?' and I said, 'Ours.'"

Hunter's father, John, said it was a little after 10 a.m. on a recent Thursday when the fire started, and the family was outside by 10:15 a.m. They notified the fire department, and John called his wife, Misty, who was at work at the time. No one was injured in the incident.

"After Hunter told me, I grabbed a bucket of water to see if I could put some of it out," John said. "By the time I got back outside, the fire was coming up through the porch and all the way up the column, so I just ran and told them to get out of the house."

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