Brothers band together to rescue a mother from burning house

Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 9:49 PM CST
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WILMER, Ala. (WALA) - Here’s a heroic tale of brothers banding together to save a family from a burning house in Wilmer.

Those brothers were recognized Tuesday night at Semmes City Hall for their acts of bravery. The family they saved were once strangers, now friends.

It happened the morning of Fat Tuesday. Haley Deville woke up to debris swirling around her house—thinking it was a tornado. Then—she saw ash and knew her house was on fire.

It was her 9-year-old neighbor who made the 9-1-1 call.

Deville said an electrical fire started in her living room.

When the flames began closing in, she pushed her 3-year-old twins through a window, but she couldn’t make it out.

“I tried to get out myself and couldn’t fit through the window, so I took off down the hallway, and the roof came in on me, and that’s when I realized I was trapped,” she said.

Two doors down, 9-year-old Wesley was doing chores in his yard. He heard something and knew there was trouble.

“I went to the front to trim our bushes some, and then I heard glass breaking and screaming,” said Wesley Balentine.

He called for his older brother Jared, and he acted.

“When I heard her scream, my first thought was someone was being attacked,” said Jared Cooper. “I took off, saw the smoke, just followed instinct and let it take over.”

Jared served in the army and has combat medical training. He felt confident he could save her.

“I took off, jumped the fence, got back there, found her stuck in the room, busted what was left of a window, and pulled her out of there, and just started medical treatment, doing everything I could until EMS got there,” he said.

Meanwhile, Wesley did what he could. He picked up his phone and called 9-1-1.

“I told them Jim Tom Circle, see a bunch of smoke going around and that’s the house,” said Wesley. “That was my first time calling 9-1-1. I was just in a rush to call and get the firefighters over here.”

Tuesday night, Jared, Wesley, and their other brother Clark were recognized at Semmes City Hall for their courageous, life-saving acts.

Jared received the “Citizen Hero Award,” which came as a big surprise to him.

“I don’t consider myself a hero,” said Jared. “If there is no one else around, and you hear something, you should reach out and do your job.”

Haley said she can’t thank him enough.

“I owe him everything,” she said. “If it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t be there today.”

The other man of the hour, staying out of the spotlight.

“Until this whole thing blows over, I think I’m going to have to keep a low profile,” said Wesley.

Thankfully, Haley walked away with only a few cuts, but also a bigger family. She sees these brothers as her own now.

She has a GoFundMe to help buy a new car that burned in the fire. To donate, click here.

The family is also hosting a fish fry, silent auction fundraiser on April 30 at American Legion on Halls Mill Road. Anyone is welcome to join.