Toddler alerts grandmother to Chattahoochee Hills house fire, giving family time to get out

CHATTAHOOCHEE HILLS, Ga. — An attentive toddler is being credited for helping save his family after fire broke out inside their Chattahoochee Hills home.

Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach learned how the three-year-old was able to alert his grandmother and help everyone escape.

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“I couldn’t believe it. I was in shock,” Jennifer Arnold said.

Arnold was on the couch watching TV with her grandson Justice just before 7 p.m. Monday. Her 2-year-old granddaughter was on the floor playing when the boy spoke up.

“He looked up in the ceiling and said, ‘Look Gigi, look at the smoke.’ And I was like, ‘Oh my god.’”

Arnold first went to the front door and could feel the heat from the fire, before running out the back.

“I grabbed them and went to the backdoor and called 911 from there,” she said.


Chattahoochee Hills Fire Chief Greg Brett says the department is still investigating the exact cause, but quick response from neighboring Palmetto firefighters and cooperation quickly got the fire out.

“Smoke damage and soot through throughout the house, but the fire was completely contained to that one bedroom area,” Brett said.

The family escaped only with what they were wearing.

“I think I can salvage some of my stuff, but the kids lost everything,” Arnold said.

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No one at the home, which used to be own by Arnold’s father who just died last year, was injured. The American Red Cross is now helping the family.

The family is thankful they are all unharmed,, thanks to a smart, and attentive toddler.

“If wouldn’t have been for him…like I told him last night, you’re our hero. You saved us.”

Family and friends are working to create a GoFundMe page to gather donations to help the family get back on their feet.