5-year-old boy puts out fire, saves family

New Braunfels boy unplugs night light that burned sheets, mattress

NEW BRAUNFELS – Milo Franklin, 5, of New Braunfels, is being credited with possibly saving his family's life after he unplugged a night light that had fallen over and burned a hole in his sheets and mattress.

"That's what it left and it melted off this," Franklin said as he pointed to the charred bulb and melted face of the Spiderman character on the night light. "And I woke up burned."

His mother, Fallon Franklin, could find no injuries, but said she was stunned when she realized in the morning that what she thought was simply a child's nightmare had really resulted in the sheets being burned and that there had been a small fire.

"He woke up and ran downstairs into our room saying there's a hole in my bed, there's a hole in my bed," Fallon Franklin said. "And we're like, go back to sleep, you're having a nightmare."

"We were both just white," she said, of her and her husband's reaction to finding the sheets burned. "We were just like, oh, my gosh. His little sister's in the bed next to him, and there was a fire."

Milo Franklin, however, had thought to pull out the plug.

"It was on fire, and there was a hole on my bed, and I needed to unplug it so it won't make any more flames," Milo Franklin said.

His mother credits Garden Ridge Elementary for teaching him the right thing to do.

"I'm very proud," Fallon Franklin said. "He's five. It's just amazing, and it's great that the firemen come out to the schools and teach them."

The New Braunfels Fire Department investigated and came up with a preliminary conclusion.

Patrick O'Connell, the New Braunfels Fire Marshal, said the bulb may have produced too much heat for its surroundings.

"Heat from the operating bulb ignited the mattress or the mattress topper," O'Connell said. "It's really a testament to their fire prevention measures that this fire was averted."

Once the fire department finishes its investigation, investigators will spread the word about happens to other agencies and departments.

"I'll notify the state fire marshal's office of this," O'Connell said. "I'll also notify the local jurisdictions that we've had this problem and talk to the consumer protection groups."

Fallon thinks other parents should be aware of the fire risk of the lamp.

"If you read on the tag on the lamp, it says that it meets minimum requirements for a child's toy," Fallon said. "If we can help let people know that just to watch their kids' toys, be careful, because this is a very popular product."

People should perhaps also know about the quick thinking of a little boy, who is now getting a ride to school on a fire truck Tuesday.

An internet search did not uncover any recall notices on the product, but other complaints did surface about the danger of fire.