Young man’s actions during fire called ‘heroic,’ ‘brave’

Published 11:04 pm Friday, March 15, 2024

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NATCHEZ — In mid-January, when Natchez was experiencing icy winter weather,
Destin Bradley smelled smoke and alerted his mother.

His mom, Ravyn Bradley, told Destin she was cooking supper and that’s what he

But Destin knew it wasn’t. His father, Robert, was asleep in the home.

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“That’s not from your stove,” Destin, 7, told her. “That does not smell like cooking.”

Destin looked outside and saw that the dog house, located next to the family’s
double-wide mobile home, was in flames.

“He alerted everyone to what was going on. It was during an ice storm and
everything outside was frozen up, including the outside hose. Destin, with the help
of his little sister, Ellie, who is 5, grabbed the blankets off the couches and went
outside to smother the flames. By then, with the help of their parents, they got
buckets of water and attempted to douse the flames,” said Nora Newman, Destin’s

Newman said Destin had been learning about fire safety in his first-grade class at

“They have been practicing fire safety and he knew what to do,” she said.

Turns out, a heater placed in the dog house had turned over and caught fire.

“It even melted the blinds on the inside of the house,” Newman said. “The fire
marshal said it could have been bad, that if Destin had not gone into action when
he even, even fire minutes later, they would have lost everything.”

The dog is fine, she said. “The dog knocked the heater over and he got out of

Natchez Fire Chief Robert Arrington said the fire was much smaller than it could
have been when firefighters arrived and thanks to Destin’s bravery and heroic
efforts, firefighters were able to quickly handle the situation.

This week, Arrington and Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson presented Destin by making
him an official junior firefighter with the Natchez Fire Department. The mayor also
presented Destin with a coveted Natchez pin.

“He is so proud of that award,” Newman said. “He took it to school to show his
classmates. The fire safety lessons they learn in school are so beneficial. He is a
smart young man and is very attentive. He’s like a sponge, absorbs so many
important things in school.