Staten Island Boy, 3, Earns Junior Firefighter Title

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A 3-year-old Staten Island boy is being hailed a “little hero” for alerting his family about a blaze in the basement of their home.

Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano said it’s amazing that Christopher Cooke had the presence of mind to do what he did at such a young age. He spoke at a ceremony Tuesday where the boy earned the title of junior firefighter.

“This is a remarkable story,” Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro said. “He may have prevented a real tragedy.”

On Dec. 30, the boy heard the smoke alarm sound in the basement and screamed “alarm, alarm, alarm” and shook his father — who had just returned home after working a double shift — until he woke up.

Christopher’s father, Steven Cooke, ran to the basement of their Great Kills home where he spotted a fire behind the clothes dryer and extinguished the flames but they reignited. Steven Cooke gathered his family outside until the FDNY arrived minutes later and put the flames out.

The boys’ parents said Christopher was taught fire safety instructions in schools.

“He listened [during the fire safety demonstration] and took that message home,” said Cassano. “If we can have others do this, we’ll save many lives.”

During Tuesday’s ceremony, the boy received an FDNY badge, ID card, certificate, official sweatshirt, hat and toy.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Kimmie

    This is in response to Ridgette, S Islander, and JD: Go BACK TO SCHOOL, BUMBLING MORONS. You obviously have not learned how to spell or understand basic grammar. Go back to your dark and miserable corner you call your cave and stay there. No one wants to see your horrible sentence structure or your ignorant, lack of factual information comments.

  • jo

    It figures a miserable person would find a negative in such a postive story. Here is a little boy who was smart enough to realize that a fire had started and did the right thing by telling his parents. A lesson , we all wish our own kids hope to know and are brave enough to act as quick as he did. I’m sure you are not parent of the year, so please dont act like it. Please view the video before you make untrue and hurtful comments. Moms in the bathroom, dads in bedroom and CJ hears the alarm, HE IS NOT IN THE BASEMENT…This is a hard working family , who love their child . He is a hero…..

  • NYCGirl

    Did any of you negative idiots play the video? The boy’s pregnant mother was in the shower. Here is a hard working guy relaxing after working a double shift. Nowhere does it say the child was in the basement. Are any of you re-living your own pathetic, neglected childhoods? It is obvious this little boy has two loving parents that care enough to send him to a school that actually TEACHES. Now go learn how to spell and write a grammatically correct sentence. Or perhaps your dad was too drunk to help you with your homework??

  • JD

    where was this little boy’s mother. That’s what I want to know. Sounds like this boy was alone with a passed out father.


      I am tired of these “Dad was drunk or passed out’ comments. A hard worker with the same company for 20 years as well as a 9-11 First Responder. Not too mention the article failed to mention that the Mother-in-Law was with the child but did not hear the alarm because she is disabled, deaf in one ear and a hearing aid in the other! The child was NEVER unattended!

  • S Islander

    y is a 3yr old boy at home with a father whos so damn tired after working double shifts anyway? This is child neglect…he was passsed & a drunk passed out would of been in jail…u should look into it.

    • Ridgette

      i agree he was passed out…and the 3yr old was in a basement unattended..dosent sound like such a great father to me…the boy could of been killed in that fire & there wouldnt be no hero..



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