Middletown teen helps put out neighbor’s house fire

A Middletown teen is being credited for quick thinking and having a cool head in saving a neighbor’s house from disaster.

What started as a kitchen fire was moments away from becoming a full-blown house fire, according to the Middletown Fire Department.

But by the time firefighters arrived, the fire was out thanks to Nick Holland, our news partner WCPO 9 On Your Side reports.

The 15-year-old boy leaped into action when he learned that his neighbor’s house on Shafor Street was on fire.

Theresa Baker told her 11-year-old to find help when a fire on their kitchen stove started to spread.

The boy ran two doors down to the home of Holland.

“Her son comes over and starts knocking on the door, saying their kitchen is on fire and I thought to myself it’s probably just nothing,” Holland said.

But then, he said he heard the mother’s screams for help.

That’s when Holland grabbed a fire extinguisher.

“All I could see is black smoke coming out of her kitchen so I just opened the door and I just started spraying at the fire,” Holland said.

His quick actions likely saved the Baker family and their home, Middletown Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Spaulding said.

“After looking at the damage that existed as well as the fire patterns that were present, the fire had already extended to the ceiling and was spreading horizontally across the ceiling which indicates the fire is going to rapidly accelerate at that point when he extinguished it,” Spaulding said.

Spaulding said without a doubt, if it were not for Holland’s actions, the situation could have been a lot worse.

“After the initial shock wore off and Theresa was just so grateful for what he had done … I thought, ‘You know maybe I didn’t do so bad as a parent,’” said Jennifer Holland, Nick Holland’s mother.

As for Nick Holland, he’s downplaying his actions as he hopes to make the varsity football team this fall.

“I was just doing what I needed to do, I guess. I wasn’t trying to save anything. I was just being a good neighbor,” he said.

Spaulding told WCPO that he was so impressed with Holland’s humility and composure that he encouraged the teen to apply to the Middletown Fire Department someday.