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Green Acres 2001

Fire Marshal Mark Wilson presents a certificate to Jennifer Bobbitt, 10, and Jacob Simpson, 7, at an assembly at Green Acres School in Lebanon. The kids alerted a family of a house fire Jan. 23, helping the family escape unharmed.

NOTE: The following article originally appeared in the Thursday, March 22, 2001, edition of the Albany Democrat-Herald.

LEBANON — The Lebanon Fire District and Green Acres Elementary School honored two young heroes Wednesday for alerting a sleeping family that their house was on fire.

Jacob Simpson, 7, and his cousin, Jennifer Bobbitt, 10, were lauded by the fire department and cheered by their friends and teachers at a special assembly at the school.

Fire Marshal Mark Wilson presented the first- and fourth-graders with certificates for their quick thinking and heroism.

The two youngsters were walking down Hansard Avenue toward their school bus stop Jan. 23 when they noticed smoke coming from the back of the small house at 55 Hansard Ave., where their uncle lived.

While Jennifer opened the front door to tell the occupants the house was on fire, Jacob and another cousin ran to the back of the house to see where the fire was located.

After alerting the people in the house, Jennifer went to a neighbor and dialed 911.

The kids then stayed in the neighbor's yard until the fire trucks arrived.

When things had settled down, a friend of Jennifer's mother gave them a ride to school — they had missed the bus.

Asked if they got in trouble for being late, Joseph looked at school principal Suann Ritchie with a grin on his face and said, "No."

Wilson said it is not often that kids are cited for getting involved.

"Maybe this will be the beginning of a trend," he said.

The citations of merit were presented by Fire Chief Perry Palmer, who said that the two are a credit to the citizens of the Lebanon Fire District, the students and faculty of Green Acres School and their families.

"If those kids had not banged on that door and woke up the people inside, there very well could have been casualties," said Dale Miner, a captain with the fire district.

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