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Girl saves family, home from fire



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Anna Clinton saved her grandmother, father, two dogs and their mobile home from an electrical fire. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
March 12, 2014 - Heroes come in all shapes, sizes and ages.

Take Anna Clinton, for example.

She saved her father, grandmother and two dogs from an electrical fire that could have easily gotten out of control and destroyed her grandmother's mobile home on Channing Circle in Hidden Lake Estates off Rochester Rd.

"She's a lifesaver, literally," said her father Shawn Robinson. "I think all kids should be as wise and quick on their toes as her."

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"I have no doubt that my granddaughter saved my house from burning down," wrote her grandmother Patricia Robinson in a letter to the Addison Township Fire Department.

For her efforts, Anna, who will turn 10 on March 16, will receive an award from the fire department on Wednesday, March 26 at Station #1 in Leonard.

"It's well-deserved," Shawn said. "I think the dogs would say so, too, if they could speak."

Although Anna's proud of her actions, she's a little uncomfortable with all the attention. "I'm shy," she said.

It all happened in the early morning hours of Sunday, Feb. 16 while everyone was fast asleep.

"I heard a kind of a crackle (sound) and I smelled smoke. It was pretty loud, actually. That woke me up," said Anna, who's a fourth-grader at Webster Elementary in Livonia. "I just thought it was the (electric) heater that we had going. I sat up and then I saw a tiny, little flame.

"At first, I thought my eyes were just playing tricks on me, so I stood up and walked a little closer (to it). It was a flame, so I started saying, 'Fire! Fire!' My grandma told me she thought I was saying 'spider,' like I had a bad dream or something."

But it was no dream or trick of the eye – the surge protector was on fire. It was plugged into a kitchen outlet, but hanging over a half wall in the living room. "It was, basically, suspended in the air," Shawn said.

Anna went over to her father, who was asleep on the couch, and began shaking him while saying, 'Dad! There's a fire! There's a fire!'"

"It's amazing she could get herself together so quickly (after waking up to an emergency)," Patricia said.

In a letter to the fire department, Shawn described the flames as about 10 inches high. He immediately disconnected the surge protector, then extinguished the fire.

"It was all instinct," he said. "I didn't even think about it."

The surge protector was scorched, while the plugs from the four appliances that were powered through the device were melted and black. Nothing else was damaged.

A television, lamp, radio/CD player and an electric fireplace heater were plugged in to the surge protector, which can accommodate up to six appliances.

It appears the heater was the culprit.

"The heater was the only thing that was turned on at the time," Shawn said.

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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