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Arthur boy honoured as hero

Hero - Five-year-old Ben Wickens of Arthur was honoured at the first assembly of the school year at Arthur Public School on Sept. 22 for his efforts top save the lives of his family during a fire in August. From left: Arthur fire captain Greg Brunkard, Sparky, Wickens, Fire Chief Dave Guilbault and fire prevention officer Marco Guidotti.  Photo by Olivia Rutt

Arthur boy honoured as hero

by Olivia Rutt

ARTHUR - A five-year-old boy is being hailed as a hero for saving the lives of his family members during a fire this summer.

Ben Wickens was given a certificate recognizing him as a “real-life hero” and gifts from the Wellington North Fire Service during the first assembly of the year at Arthur Public School on Sept. 22.

Ben, his mother Jessica, father Chris and his siblings Trent, 7, and Alice, 1, were vacationing at a cottage with gas appliances in August.

“There was a gas leak in one of the hoses and it was close enough to the pilot light on the stove that it caught fire one night,” said Jessica Wickens, Ben’s mother.

The fire set off the smoke alarms in the cottage, but only Ben heard it.

Ben alerted his parents and his siblings and they were all able to get out of the house and call for help.  

“He came in and woke us up and sure enough there were big flames, you could smell the propane,” said Jessica.

When asked why he did what he did, Ben said, “Because I was scared.”

“I’m very proud, he deserves it,” added Jessica.

Ben was recognized in front of the entire school by Fire Chief Dave Guilbault, fire prevention officer Marco Guidotti and Arthur fire captain Greg Brunkard.   

“Whether you know it or not, you’re a real-life hero for saving your family,” said Guidotti to loud applause from students and teachers.

Guidotti stated that without Ben and the smoke alarms, lives could have been lost in the blaze.

September 22, 2017


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