Man makes wrong turn, saves 4 siblings from fire

Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 2:43 AM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (KETV) - Four siblings are still alive, thanks to a man who made a wrong turn. He was driving by their home when it started to go up in flames.

Brendon Birt says he took a wrong turn Oct. 23 onto a road in Red Oak, Iowa, and just happened to see a fire starting at the Lehman family’s home. He rushed into action, pounding on windows on the side of the house.

“I just felt like somebody was in there because it was so late at night. I just knew that I had to act quick,” Birt said. “Every second that was going by was just getting worse.”

Tender Lehmen (center) is grateful for the Good Samaritan who saved her four children, ages 8,...
Tender Lehmen (center) is grateful for the Good Samaritan who saved her four children, ages 8, 14, 17 and 22, from a house fire.(Source: KETV via CNN)

Ring doorbell video shows the home turn into an inferno. Smoke alarms were not going off.

“There’s a fire. You got to get out!” Birt called in the video.

Inside the home were Tender Lehman’s four children, ages 8, 14, 17 and 22, according to a GoFundMe page set up for the family. Birt’s banging and screaming woke them up.

“Everything was just black in the living room. There was nothing left of it,” Christopher Lehman said.

Video shows the three younger kids burst out the front door through smoke and flames.

“They came out the door… I just wanted to break down and cry. I don’t even know these people here,” Birt said.

What felt like an eternity later, the oldest sibling, Bryce Harrison, escaped just in time.

“Walked up into an oven of heat and flames on the front wall,” he said.

Tender Lehman was dealing with a family emergency out of town when she got the call about the fire. A few days later, she met the man who saved her children.

“I’m so incredibly grateful. My kids wouldn’t have made it,” she said.

The house is a total loss, and sadly, five of the family’s seven dogs didn’t make it out. But Tender Lehman says that at least she and her children will all be able to move forward together, thanks to Birt and a wrong turn.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.