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4-year-old's quick thinking saves family
The Daily Advance (Dec. 31, 2004)

Heroes come in all ages. If you don't believe it, just ask Joe and Deborah Cavalcante of Currituck County.


After a long weekend of celebrating Christmas and visiting with relatives, the exhausted couple went to bed early Monday night in their Ranchland subdivision home. As they drifted off to sleep, the Cavalcantes had no idea that a fire was raging beneath the floors of their double-wide mobile home.


Luckily, the Cavalcantes' 4-year-old son Vincent wasn't as tired as his parents.


Lying on his parents' bed watching television, Vincent noticed the smoke filling the house. He quickly thought about the important advice he had seen in a fire safety video, one he had been given two years earlier when he was 2 by the family's insurance agent. That advice: "Stop, drop and roll."


Vincent decided he needed to wake up his parents.


"At about 10 p.m., Vincent woke me up and said 'Mommy, I've got to show you something," Deborah Cavalcante recalled Thursday.


Cavalcante said she first thought a log had rolled off the fire burning in the mobile home's fireplace, something that had happened a few nights earlier. She even got up and opened windows to let the smoke out.


But as she walked across the living room floor, she felt it caving in. Figuring something else more serious was afoot, Cavalcante said she woke her husband, picked up her son and the family fled their home.


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Moyock Fire Department * P.O. Box 81 * 108 Fire Station Court * Moyock, NC 27958
252.435.2281 * Fax: 252.435.6450 * moyock@moyockfd.com