Family Says Three-Year-Old Girl Is A Hero, “She Saved All Of Our Lives”

March 7, 2008

Three-year-old Elizabeth White is being called a hero by her family. Her mom credits Elizabeth for saving their lives.

Last Saturday afternoon was an ordinary one around the White household on Campbell Road in Century. Lunch was over. Mom Tiffany White had just loaded the dishwasher. She was home with her three kids, three year old Elizabeth, five year old Alicyn and two year old Landon. Dad Jason White had just left the house for a short trip.

“Then Elizabeth told me that she saw smoke,” Tiffany said. “I thought she had just seen the steam from the dishwasher. At first I didn’t think anything about what she was saying. Then I thought maybe I did see smoke cross outside the window. I went over and opened the back door. I saw fire everywhere.”

The utility room, located just outside the kitchen, was filled with a raging fire, Tiffany said. She grabbed the children and headed across the road to safety.

“If Elizabeth hadn’t seen the smoke when she did, we would have all got burned up in there,” Tiffany told Thursday, standing outside the burned out shell of her home. “She saved all of our lives. She is our little hero. I’m proud of her.”

Elizabeth, who will celebrate her fourth birthday on Tuesday, was a bit shy about being interviewed by a stranger. But she did say she was not a hero. And she said she was not scared.

When arrived Thursday, Jason and Tiffany were sifting through the burned out home, looking for anything they could salvage. Tiffany had just found a small photo album containing just handful of family photos. There’s a glimmer of hope in her eyes and she picks up the album and opens it for the first time. But her hope quickly turns to disappointment. The plastic on the album is melted to most of the photos. Others are a bit charred, or falling apart from becoming wet.

“These are about the only pictures I have left of my kids,” Tiffany said. “Most of my pictures were in frames on the walls. I’m going to miss my pictures of my babies.”

But she’s very thankful that she still has her babies and continues to praise Elizabeth has a hero.

Elizabeth, meanwhile, grows bored with the whole interview as one might expect from a three-year-old. She runs around the yard, which still contains several of the children’s outside play toys. She runs around excited and playful, hiding from our camera as much as she can. She’s turned avoid the camera into a game of sorts.

Then she stops by the front corner of the house and points up toward the burned out window.

“I want to see my room,” she says. “Take me in there.”

Tiffany explains that she can’t take her inside because it is not safe.

“But I want to see,” she says. “Daddy, hold me up to the window so I can see my room. I want my toys.”

Jason tells her maybe later.

She does not seem to understand that her favorite toys — her Beanie Babies, her My Little Ponies and her stuffed animals — are not just inside that window anymore. They, like all the family’s possessions, are gone.

The family had no insurance, Jason said. They are currently crowded in the home of his parents, Kenneth and Ruby White in Flomaton, while they figure out what they will do next.

In the meantime, the community continues to pull together to help the Whites. Many have donated clothes and other items; some have donated money. If you would like help the family, email and we will put you in touch with family . Their primary need right now is for a house to rent in the area. Once they find that house, they will need household items, toys for the children and clothes.

Pictured top of page: Three year old Elizabeth White stands in front of her burned out home. Pictured below: Elizabeth points toward her room. Pictured bottom of page: Tiffany White looks at the only family photos that she could find. exclusive photos. Click to enlarge.

To read’s story about the fire, click here.

To view a photo album from Saturday’s fire, click here.




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