12-year-old boy receives award for bravery to wake neighbors in fire
When alarms began to ring in their North Vancouver apartment building early Tuesday morning, the Rezaei family didn’t immediately rush out to find safety.
As smoke filled the hallways, the Rezaeis delayed their escape so they could alert neighbors on the third floor, banging on doors and screaming to wake everyone up.
A few days later, the North Vancouver County Fire and Rescue Service recognized the entire family – father Mahmoud, mother Azadeh, daughter Paryas and son Barsam – for their bravery.
Fire Chief Brian Hutchinson said: “The actions of the whole family had a huge impact on that entire floor.
“We just wanted to say, on behalf of the community: Thank you so much for stepping up, taking care of your neighborhood and making sure everyone is okay.”
But Hutchinson specifically pointed to Paryas, 12, giving her a Fire Chief’s Commendation – an honor that can be given to firefighters or members of the public for their heroic act of helping. prevent injury or death.
Hutchinson noted that the family’s immediate neighbors believed Paryas “probably saved their lives” that morning.
Two people were injured in the fire that broke out around 4:30 a.m. and dozens of residents were still displaced days later. But Hutchinson said things could have been worse without the brave actions of the Rezaei family.
When asked why she chose to stay indoors and warn her neighbors, Paryas said her parents set a good example.
“My parents mostly encouraged me because they started knocking on doors,” she said. “I’d do it anyway, but they’re one of the reasons.”
She noted that her father also ventured back into the thick smoke to try to wake someone who hadn’t left their unit one last time.
Paryas said being recognized by the fire department — at an event attended by North Vancouver County Mayor Mike Little — was a pleasant and unexpected honor.
“It means a lot to me,” she said.
With files from Shelley Moore of CTV News Vancouver