The Ridley Township Board of Commissioners honored a young hero at its May meeting for acting on his own initiative to safely remove his baby sister when a clothes dryer caught fire in the basement of the family’s Leedom Estates home on May 7.
Commissioners honored seven year-old Jackson Bauer with a citation presented by Sixth Ward Commissioner Mike MCrea. The police department gave the youngster a back pack that included a police badge, a water bottle and a shirt. Bauer received a standing ovation from the board and the audience after the presentation.
Jackson’s father, Nathan, explained what happened in the basement of the family’s Clymer Lane home that led to the heroic response.
“I pushed the starter on the dryer and saw smoke and then more smoke and Jackson kept getting upset. He said, ‘Are we going to die?’ I said no and I told him to put his shoes on and go upstairs,” Bauer said.
While his dad called 911 and without being told, Jackson ran to the bedroom where his seven month-old sister, Harper, was sleeping. He managed to get her into her stroller and down a flight of stairs to the first floor, outside to the deck and up the street to a neighbor’s house. In the meantime the Leedom Fire Co. arrived at the house.
“There were flames. The fire department came and did what they are trained to do,” Bauer said, adding that there was some smoke damage to the basement of the house.
In addition to Jackson’s mother, Samantha, and his sister, Leedom School Principal Melissa O’Doherty and Leedom Fire Chief Tom Silpath were there for the presentation.
As for Jackson’s reaction to all the excitement surrounding him, he said he knew he was being honored.
“But he asked me what ‘honored’ was,” his smiling father said.
Also on the meeting agenda was the swearing in of two new K9 officers and their handlers. They are Hannes, a two year-old male German Shepherd assigned to officer Matt Roway, and Zork, also two years-old with the same pedigree, assigned to officer Brian Judge. The dogs will live with their handlers.
The canines were imported from Germany to Von der haus Gill German Shepherds, Inc. in Ohio and were purchased by the township with a $30,000 grant through the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office and County Council.
The grant paid for the dogs’ purchase, for their training and to outfit the vehicle in which the animals will ride while on duty. Videon Dodge Chrysler donated a 2012 Dodge Charger for them. The Delaware County Kennel Club donated bullet/stab proof vests, oxygen masks and first aid kits for each of the dogs.
In another matter, board President Bob Willert announced that a new business will soon be located at 1240 Chester Pike, near the Bullens Lane intersection. Hampshire Venture Partners, LP will build a three-story self-storage facility at the site, part of which was once the old Chester Pike Drive-In Theater.
“It looks like a beautiful office building,” Willert said of the artist rendering.