Teenagers praised for saving Kansas family and home from fire


GARDNER, Kan. – A Kansas City-area family is singing the praises after the swift actions of two high school students saved their home and their lives.

What started with a home cooking dinner on their patio changed within hours when that patio started smoking and then burst into flames.

“We passed out, and at 11:45 a.m., I got this like a jolt from my husband. He says, “Jen, Jen wake up, call 911. The house is on fire,” owner Jennifer Cusick said.

But before they woke up, the teenagers were already on their porch, banging and shouting, trying to get their attention.

“We realized there was a real fire, you know. Then I ran to their door, started knocking really hard, you know, trying to get their attention,” said JT Thakur, one of the two teenagers.

Heroic actions of two teenagers, literally stepping up extinguishing a fire, and everything was filmed.

“I just want to personally help people because I like helping people, you know.” said Thakur.

It was pizza night in the Cusick house on Monday, using their new pizza oven they had bought for Christmas, but an ember crept through the deck.

“You can actually see him as he puts the grill away, one of the planks starts smoking around 7 a.m.,” Cusick said.

For the next five hours, that ember continued to smoke before the Cusicks’ patio caught fire.

“We probably would have woken up with flames in our house burning, which is really a scary thought to think about,” she said.

The two teenagers were on the job delivering food, but their quick instincts may have saved the lives of two children, their parents and three dogs. They put out the fire before first responders arrived.

“I wanted to send them a gift. But I think to myself, what do I bring to two guys who saved my home and my family? There is no price for that. Thank you, thank you so much for stopping and, you know, doing what you did,” Cusick said.

The Cusicks family told FOX4 about the lesson learned. They will always put water in and double check and triple check.


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