Eight-year-old Felix Dalley was playing outside in late May when he saw black smoke billowing from his porch.
He rushed out the back door and alerted his family to the fire, which consumed the house within 10 minutes.
Amy Dalley, Felix’s mother, was at work during the fire. When she received a phone call telling her what had happened, she said she had collapsed to the ground.
“Felix had told me after that he remembered his father telling him that black smoke indicated danger,” Dalley said. “I don’t even want to think about what could have happened because literally my husband said the house, once they left, it was gone.”
This week, Félix received a certificate of recognition from the City of Moncton and a crest from the fire chief for his quick action to save his family from a house fire.
The day of fire
Felix was playing outside with his friends on May 23 at around 3pm in the Carsdale Court area when he saw black smoke billowing from the porch.
He ran out the back door and first alerted his uncle, who then spotted flames coming through the porch floor boards.
His uncle shouted at the others – Felix’s father, brother and cousin – and they all ran out the back door.
Dalley said she rushed home after work and found the family at a neighbor’s house.
In the weeks after
Dalley said the first few weeks after the fire were “a fog”.
“You never expect this to happen to you. You lose everything. You lose your memories,” Dalley said.
The family had a cat, which has still not been found.
Dalley said the house will need to be rebuilt and she doesn’t know how long that will take.
Charles Leblanc, the deputy fire chief, said the fire was accidental and started outside.
Dalley said the community has been very supportive. She even had someone reach out and offer to give the family the rest of their lease because he was moving to where the family is now.
She said she was happy to be in the same neighborhood because the biggest priority was making sure the kids could go to the same school in the fall and be with their friends.
“They’ve already been through a lot of trauma and so on, so try to be as normal as possible through the trauma, but just taking it one day at a time,” Dalley said.
At the Moncton City Council meeting this week, Felix received a certificate from the city as well as a crest and gold coin from the Moncton Fire Department.
Fire Chief Conrad Landry said the crest and gold coin are normally reserved for firefighters, but an exception was made for Felix.
“He’s a true hero and his actions will never be forgotten,” Landry said.
Landry said he consulted with firefighters when he arrived at the scene of the fire and there was “virtually no survivability” when they arrived at the house.
Dalley, who attended the town council meeting, said she was very proud of Felix. She said the recognition from the city and the fire department is “touching.”
“He’s our hero,” Dalley said. “He’s also a hero in the eyes of a lot of other people.”