EULESS (CBSDFW.COM) – When fire broke out at a Euless home in March, there was a family of nine inside. In the rush to get out, one was left behind.
But thanks to the clear thinking actions of an 18-year-old Eagle Scout, they are still a family of nine. Tonight he was awarded for his bravery with the scouts highest award.
A Boy Scout’s motto is “be prepared.” But, nothing could’ve prepared Reid Vaenuku for what happened the night of March 15. “I was like FIRE! Fire!” Reid said.
The fire started when Reid plugged his cell phone and charger in to a wall outlet. “It was just really big. And, I threw the cup of water on it and it didn’t do anything,” Reid remembers.
There are 9 people in Reid’s family, including six brothers and sisters. Everyone ran outside or so he thought. “I was sitting there, watching it and I just had a feeling like, ‘Where’s my brother?” Reid said.
His brother Keio was still in bed.
“Keio is our clown,” Reid’s mother, Sela, said. “He’s always exaggerating stories. He’s very laid back. Very big hearted,” she said.
Thinking it was all a joke, Keio had gone back to sleep. Reid went back into the smoky house, now being renovated, to get him. “I inhaled a little bit of the smoke and I couldn’t breathe. I was like ‘Whoa!’ Kinda shocked me but as soon as I breathed it in, I got low and went to his room,” Reid said.
“In the chaos of everything we probably wouldn’t have recognized It until it was too late,” said Sela Vaenuku.
Looking back on that night, Keio is somber. “What would’ve happened if he never woke me up? And I guess it was pretty serious,” he said.
On Wednesday night in Colleyville, Reid, who is an Eagle Scout, was awarded the scout’s highest medal for heroism.
But he doesn’t feel like he was a hero. “Honestly, I don’t. I just feel like a brother. That’s it,” Reid said.
Reid was given the Honor Medal with Crossed Palms. Since its inception in 1938, only 250 scouts have received that award.