Reporting Reg Chapman
NORTHFIELD (WCCO) — They jumped into action without anyone telling them to. Now, three brothers from Northfield are being called heroes.
Conner, Kyle and Joey Malecha live just up the block from the Valleyview Assisted Living facility that caught fire last night. So, when they heard sirens and saw smoke, they ran to help the 38 residents who were forced outside.
Cathy Malecha says she is beyond proud of her sons. She had no idea all three ran out of their house and down the street to help the more than three dozen people who were forced outside because their home was on fire.
“We heard one of the firemen break the windows and all the smoke, you just could see, was billowing out the windows,” said Kyle Shea.
Kyle, 14, says it was overwhelming to see there were not enough people to help the residents get away from the burning building.
“They needed to be placed somewhere else. So, I just rushed over to help,” said 14-year-old Conner.
Conner led the way as they ran to see what they could do. Even 8-year-old Joey went along to help.
“He’s pretty mature for his age and it’s pretty much ‘monkey see, monkey do’ for him,” Kyle said.
“I actually got mad. I sent a text to my son Kyle and I said, ‘Joey needs to come home because he’s only 8′ and he sent one back and said, ‘Joey doesn’t want to come home,’” said Cathy.
Cathy ran after her sons. When she got to the corner and looked around, what she saw made her proud.
“You could hear him he was in pain when he went down he hurt his leg,” said Conner.
Conner jumped into a ravine to help pull a man, who fell in the water, to safety.
“It took me and two EMTs and a police officer to grab his legs and arms to get him all the way up,” Conner said.
Kyle escorted a woman across the street to the church.
“She just kept on saying, ‘it’s so cold out here.’ So, I just took my coat off and put it over her,” Kyle said.
In just his T-shirt, Kyle made a quick detour before continuing his mission of mercy.
“I ran home and grabbed about 10 pairs of socks because people were walking over there without socks and shoes on, “Kyle said.
“Then my youngest one steering one of the stretchers, so I couldn’t have been more proud,” Cathy said.
The man Conner helped up the hill was the only resident that had to be hospitalized last night.
The others spent the night at another valley View facility in Owatanna, some stayed with relatives.
The boys say all day at school they were being called heroes, but say they were just doing what they hope someone would do for them, if they were in need.
Authorities are investigating the fire as an arson. A 46-year-old male resident of the facility admitted to police that he set the fire.