Brendon Birt had never imagined making the news after mistakenly turning his car in the wrong direction. It was a normal night when he was on a drop-off lane.
Like most of us, he must have regretted taking the wrong turn. Then he discovered that fate had plans for him: to help four brothers who had no idea their house was on fire. He arrived in time to help them.
When Birt saw the house on fire in Red Oak, Iowa, in the early morning hours, he assumed the residents must be sleeping inside. So he immediately got out of his car to help them.
Before alerting the trapped residents, Birt called 911 and then banged on the doors and windows of the house. He even yelled and waited for his voice to reach the people inside.
“I knew I had to act fast,” he said.
Birt suspected that people were inside the dwelling, and he was right. Three children ran out the front door moments after he acted on his instinct. The doorbell camera footage showed how they escaped the flames.
“They walked out the door and I felt like I just wanted to break down and cry,” the man admitted.
The boys who left the house were 8, 14 and 17 years old. However, they were not the only people inside.
One of the older girls said she had heard Birt screaming, but didn’t know he had been trying to alert them to the fire. It wasn’t until she saw an orange glow through her window that she realized her house was on fire.
“First, I grabbed my sister, then my brother, and then we ran out of the house,” the girl explained.
Moments later, Birt saw another boy run out the front door. The older of the siblings was a 22-year-old who hadn’t heard the commotion because he was playing with headphones on.
He was alerted after realizing that his siblings were awake.
When he went to see why his brother and sisters were awake, he realized he had to get out of the house quickly. He escaped just before the flames began to spread.
The children’s mother, Tender Lehman, was out of town on a family emergency while her husband was at work. She was eternally grateful to Brendon Birt for helping her children escape the fire in time.
“My children would not have made it out in time. They are safe because of him,” she said.
Although all the boys were safe, they lost their pets in the fire. Only two of their canines made it out of the home unharmed. Five others died of smoke inhalation.
The family’s home had burned to the ground and they had nowhere to go. They are currently living in a borrowed mobile home, but are in desperate need of help.
Lehman’s mother, Windy Monjarez, set up a GoFundMe page to help the family. She said:
“These are homeless people and they have nothing left.”
Windy has a goal of raising $30,000 through online fundraising. She has raised more than $18,000 through 354 donations and hopes people will help her reach her goal.
On the other hand, Tender Lehman said Brendon Birt was now like family because he had saved her children. Things would have been much worse if he hadn’t stopped to alert the boys.
Brendon Birt’s inspiring story teaches us that we should always help others whenever we can, even if it means doing everything we can to save someone’s life.