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Teen hailed a hero after alerting Tampa family their home was on fire

Hillsborough County

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A Plant High School student is being called a hero after alerting a Tampa family that their home was on fire.   

Seventeen-year-old Braedon Gower says he was driving home from his girlfriend’s house around midnight last Thursday when he saw smoke coming from a home along West Zelar Street in Tampa.  

“I slammed on the brakes and stopped. Then got out of the car and I told Siri to call 911,” said Gower. 

Gower, who has three younger brothers, explains to WFLA.com he is fast on his feet during emergencies. When he saw smoke coming from the Tampa home, he immediately sprang into action.  

“I see this bush on fire. The next thing I see is the fence is on fire and then the house is on fire,” said Gower.  “I’m going and banging on all neighbors’ doors and stuff. I banged on the person’s door (whose) house was on fire and luckily he was on the couch watching TV.” 

Gower explains that the homeowner began putting the fire out with a garden hose while they waited for the fire department to arrive.  

“The fire department came and then that’s when I left because I’d be home by 12 a.m. because my curfew,” joked Gower.

According to the Tampa Fire Department, an electrical fire started around midnight at the West Zelar Street property but was quickly put out, causing minimal damage.  

The family who lives in the home did not want to be identified but tells WFLA.com they’re extremely grateful for Gower’s quick thinking. They thanked the teen with cards and a $200 cash reward. 

In the meantime, Gower says he’s thankful he was in the right place at the right time.  

“It could have turned into a lot more, like with gas lines. A lot more could have happened if I didn’t knock on the door and call the department, you know? It’s like, what if that was me in that situation? Like, what if my house is burned down?” said Gower. “Just help others in need.” 

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