Skip to main content

Boreal Community Media

Video: Teen's quick actions keep cousin, pets safe during fire

Mar 24, 2021 06:56AM ● By Editor

Watch the WDIO-TV Report here

A teen's quick actions saved her niece and the family pets, after a neighbor told them the house was on fire.  Photo: WDIO-TV

From WDIO-TV - March 23, 2021

It was Friday afternoon, and Jocelyn Sutherland was settling in to babysit her cousin, Brooklyn. Since Brooklyn likes to play video games, Jocelyn was preparing to do some homework. All of the sudden, she heard some loud banging at the door.

"I got scared. I yelled, what are you doing, get out! Then I heard him say, your house is on fire, and you need to get out," she remembers.

That was the neighbor, Andy Sertich, who noticed the smoke and flames.

Jocelyn rushed Brooklyn out of the house. And then she ran back inside for the cats and dogs. "Adrenaline just kicked in."

Brooklyn's parents, Charlie and Lexie Rachunek had been on a motorcycle ride. They headed right back home, when they heard about the fire. "You could see the smoke coming from the house, and it was a sickening feeling," both of them shared.

"We want to say thank you to Andy Sertich and to Jocelyn. Without  Andy, they wouldn't have known the house was on fire. And without Jocelyn, I don't want to think about what would have happened," Charlie said.

He's seen scenes like this before, having served for a short time on the Trout Lake Fire Department. And it was that chief who grabbed something important to Charlie, who's an army veteran.

It's a shadow box in the shape of Minnesota, filled with military memories. "When I retired, guys who worked for me, knew I was coming back to Minnesota. So they had this made. And it is filled with my medals and coins and all kinds of stuff," he said. The box is charred.

They have long been helpers in their community, and never expected to be the ones who need the help. "The amount of community support from friends and family has been unbeliveable," Charlie said.

There is an account open at Affinity Plus Credit Union under the Charles Rachunek name. And you can Venmo to Lexie at @Lexie-Rachunek

To watch the original report and see related stories, follow this link to the WDIO-TV website.

Boreal Ship Spotter - larger view here