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Divine Providence leads man to save four siblings in house fire


Nils Petersen | Shutterstock

Cerith Gardiner - published on 11/03/22

When Brendon Birt took a wrong turn, he had no idea where it would lead.

When Brendon Birt was giving a friend a lift home, he made a wrong turn. Thankfully, his navigation skills took him to just where he needed to be.

The journey took Birt and his friend past a house in Red Oak, Iowa, at 2 a.m. that was up in flames. Presuming there might be people inside, Birt called 911 and went about trying to wake up the occupants.

“I was screaming, yelling, just tried to wake them up because I just figured somebody was in the house. I just acted … there was no time to wait, like, I just realized it’s either now or never,” the hero shared with CNN.

Thanks to Birt’s intervention, three siblings, Kindred, 17, Spirit, 14, and their little brother Chris, 8, emerged through the flames. Big brother Bryce, 22, came out five minutes after his younger siblings, explaining, “[I] walked up into an oven of heat and flames on the front, the front wall.”

The children’s mom, Tender Lehman, had been called away on a family emergency 750 miles away, and her husband was at work on the opposite side of the state. But as soon as she heard of the news she rushed back to be with her kids, who not only had the trauma of escaping their burning house, but lost five of the family’s dogs, two of which were emotional support dogs.

Birt’s quick-thinking was paramount in getting the siblings out safely, considering how quickly the fire spread. When talking to the firefighters, who arrived after the siblings escaped, they explained to Birt, 26, “that the steps to get downstairs when they ran out the door were on fire already.” He pointed out to CNN affiliate KETV, “another five minutes, I don’t think they would have got out.”

Unfortunately for the family, their home wasn’t insured, so they’re now living in a camper van lent to them by a friend, along with two of their dogs that survived the flames. But, thankfully, they’re in touch daily with their life-saver as they all help each other come to terms with the event.

If there is something to be learned from this, it’s that God certainly does have a path for each one of us, and who knows where it will take us, and what good might come from it. And that has to be one of the most exciting mysteries of life.

Acts of KindnessChildren
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