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Galesburg girl honored for saving family, neighbors from apartment fire

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Jane Carlson
/
Tri States Public Radio
Kylee Stivers, 6, is pictured with her parents, Gary and Sylvia Stivers, and Galesburg police and firefighters.

Kylee Stivers is being credited for saving lives, and for preventing extensive damage.

Kylee Stivers woke up around 5 a.m. May 20 to the sound of a smoke alarm going off in the apartment below her on North Broad Street.

The six-year-old then went to wake her mother, Sylvia, who sleeps next to air conditioner and did not hear the alarm herself.

Then Sylvia called 911 and all occupants were able to safely exit the building.

Kylee is being credited for saving lives, and for preventing extensive damage.

“Because that happened in such an expeditious manner, we were able to get to the scene and extinguish the fire, with almost no damage to the rest of the building, smoke only, and just some contents burned,” said firefighter Joe Grodjesk.

Officials said the fire started on top of a mattress, making the situation potentially quite dangerous.

“They can just burn so quickly. So really, minutes were a factor here. Even one or two minutes later could have been a much different outcome,” Grodjesk said.

Mayor Peter Schwartzman said Kylee’s actions were courageous and city officials were extremely proud of her.

She was awarded a “certificate of excellence” from the city.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from  readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.