Leiataua Setefano with his wife Ake Leiataua and their son Anthony L Setefano and daughter Neetia Leiataua stand beside the fridge that caught fire and almost destroyed their home.
Leiataua Setefano with his wife Ake Leiataua and their son Anthony L Setefano and daughter Neetia Leiataua stand beside the fridge that caught fire and almost destroyed their home. David Nielsen

Teen saves family from fire

A 16-YEAR-OLD boy has been hailed as a hero after saving his sleeping siblings from a burning house.

Anthony L Setefano also lifted a burning fridge away from the kitchen wall of his parents' Silkstone home to prevent fire from spreading.

The teen was left to look after four of his six siblings when his dad, Leiataua Setefano, went to pick the kids' mother up from work late on Tuesday night.

Little more than 15 minutes after his dad had gone, Anthony said he could smell smoke in the house.

“I was lying in bed playing with my mobile phone – all of a sudden I could smell this smoke but I thought it was somewhere in my room,” he said.

“I opened my bedroom door and looked around the corner and saw the fridge on fire – I just grabbed it and lifted it out from the wall.

“My only thought was to throw the whole thing outside, but I didn't want to spread the fire so I left it in the open part of the kitchen.”

This was no tiny bar fridge either – the unit Anthony lifted was a massive family-sized box.

It was also on fire at the time and the young hero sustained a small burn on one of his hands when he moved it.

His next move was to wake his siblings and get them outside.

Anthony then switched off the power supply to the house from the external power box, before ringing his dad.

Mr Setefano said his son showed maturity beyond his years in dealing with what would have been a traumatic situation.

“Most kids would have got straight on the phone to their parents – asking them what to do,” Mr Setefano said.

“From an early age we teach our kids to stand up and think for themselves – and I am very happy that my son was able to do this.”

Firefighters arrived at the scene in a few minutes, but in the meantime Mr Setefano arrived home to help Anthony attack the flames with the garden hose.

The fire was eventually restricted to the kitchen area – however smoke damage was spread throughout the Blackstone Rd residence.

Anthony's mum, Ake Leiataua, said the fact that all her children were safe far outweighed any concerns about the house.

“I am so proud of him,” she said.

“He saved the family and he saved the house and he is my hero.”


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