Quick thinking and bravery earned a father and his son a commendation award from the Westminster Fire Department.
Bill and 15-year-old Richard Charrington worked together to warn a family of their burning deck and were presented with the award for bravery and quick action on Sept. 16 during their Boy Scout meeting.
Bill and Richard noticed smoke coming from across the street of their home on Aug. 17. They immediately ran across the street and started knocking on the door of the home closest to the smoke. After no answer, Richard quickly ran to the back of the home and saw the deck on fire. Knocking turned into pounding but still no answer.
“We kept knocking and then I went to the back again and saw that the house was now on fire,” Richard said. “After that we noticed the door was unlocked and so we went inside. The people inside were actually sleeping and we woke them up and finally they came out.”
Fire marshal Bob Hose, who presented the awards, said the father-son duo did just what they were supposed to do by taking positive and direct action to alert the people in the home, but did not endanger themselves in the process.
“We have citizens who take correct action and do the right thing, but many times they disappear and we don’t have the chance to thank them, or acknowledge their actions,” he said. “So when we have the opportunity we like to thank people like Richard and Bill for their actions.”
Richard, who attends Jefferson Academy and plays football for Pomona High School, said although it’s nice to receive an award, the recognition comes second to making sure the people the home were safe. He said he was brought up to always to extend a hand to someone in need, a lesson that’s been passed down from his great-grandpa. No matter what the cost, Richard believes in stepping up in whatever way possible to help someone else.
“It’s the best feeling the world to know that we were able to get them out and keep them safe,” Richard said. “Boy Scouts and my background taught me that if someone needs help you help them.”