ADVANCE, N.C. --
A sixth grader from Advance is being credited with listing intently during a fire safety training course, then using that knowledge to save his siblings during an actual fire at his home.
During the early-morning hours on Halloween, a fire broke out at the home of 11-year-old Bradley Collins.
Collins, who didn't panic, noticed the smoke, grabbed his siblings, 8-year-old Megan and 5-year-old Rhod, then crawled out of the house to safety.
"I just saw a big puff of black smoke coming in my room," Bradley said. "Once they saw the smoke, they didn't give me any resistance, they just got down. We just crawled on out of the house."
Bradley then went next door to ask the neighbors to call 911. Meanwhile, his mom and dad also got out safely after realizing the kids were already outside.
Bradley learned what to do from the Advance Fire Department. Every fall since the 1970s, firefighter Ronnie Robertson has taught students at Shady Grove Elementary about fire safety.
"We're very proud that the boys and girls do listen and learn and they were able to put what they've learned into action and actually produce a positive result," Robertson said.
The Collins' house now lies in ruins. But the quick thinking of young Bradley curbed what could have been a more devastating result.
"The preparedness that you need to have is so very important for all the families to know," Robertson added. "Property can be replaced, but lives cannot."
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