Boy, 6, credited for saving residents from apartment fire

He saved numerous lives by alerting his family to the smell of smoke; one firefighter was hurt in the blaze

Times Union

NEW YORK — A six-year-old boy's keen sense of smell saved residents who were sleeping when their Broad Street apartment building caught fire early Thursday.

"I smelled something I did not like," said Avery Moses, as he sat on a stoop with his mother near their home at 50 Broad St. Most of their belongs were destroyed.

The fire started just after 4 a.m., said Deputy Chief Joseph W. Gregory said.

"He woke me up and said 'Ma, I smell smoke or something,'" Avery's mother, Lynette Moses, said. "I said 'I don't smell anything honey, go back to bed.'"

Avery did not give up.

"So I told my dad I smelled smoke," Avery said.

Only then did the family, who lived on the first floor of the building, see smoke pouring from the second-floor apartment. They raised an alarm.

"When we arrived, there was heavy fire and smoke condition on the second and third floors," Gregory said. "Everyone was out of the building."

The Albany Fire Department headquarters is just a block away and firefighters got there within minutes, Gregory said.

The fire started on the second floor but exactly where and how are still unknown, Gregory said. It was also not immediately known if the building had working smoke detectors.

One fireman was injured in the blaze. "He took a tumble and was treated and released from Albany Medical Center," Gregory said.

Besides Avery's family on the first floor, the three-story building has an apartment on the second and third floor where the owner and another person lived, Gregory said.

The American Red Cross provided shelter and other aid to those who lived in the building, which was heavily damaged by fire, smoke and water.

Besides the thanks of those who escaped the blaze, Avery was offered another small reward.

"You've had a rough morning, Avery. You want to take the day off from school?" his mother asked.

"That would be all right," the boy said.

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