On January 17, 2015, 10 year old James Joseph “Jack” Aloysious Cranston V, phoned his mother from his father’s house to say goodnight as he always does, as he was spending the night with his grandmother, Bonnie Powell. Ten minutes later, hearing a loud popping noise, Jack discovered the back room of the house was on fire and quickly alerted his grandmother.
The main entrance/exit in the rear of the house was engulfed in flames, so Jack led his grandmother to the front of the house to a sliding glass door. Jack quickly removed a block from the base of the door, and slid open the slider, but discovered the screen door would not open. Trying hard to get it to open, he kicked it several times but it would not move. He pulled a jackknife out of his pocket and cut the screen open. He then led his grandmother and one dog to safety. Although he tried to get a second dog to come out, it would not go. Jack felt bad he couldn’t get the dog out but knew he had to get out quickly.
During the Calvert Board of County Commissioners meeting, on February 24, 2015, Jack was given a proclamation. He showed incredible bravery, quick thinking, and a fearless most adults are not capable of in a dangerous situation such as this. The Commissioners recognized James for his life saving actions and his heroism. They further proclaimed they presented the proclamation as a tribute to his fearless actions.
Speaking on behalf of the Huntingtown Volunteer Fire Department, Fire Chief Carroll Spriggs, said the young man showed great courage and quick thinking in a time of stress. If it hadn’t been for him, his grandmother and the dog would not have made it.
Congratulations Jack, for a job well done!
Margit Miller / Calvert Beacon