Lower Merion 'hero brothers' honored for saving family in house fire

LOWER MERION TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The fire chief at Lower Merion Fire Department is crediting two brothers, ages 10 and 12, for saving the lives of their family.

He, along with other firefighters, presented Cooper and Ryder Fiske-Kneafsey of Merion Station with the Chief's Commendation for their quick response to a fire at their home last year.

"Their calm and courageous response to this incident brings great credit to themselves and their family," said Chief Charles McGarvey, as he presented the plaques in front of Ryder's class at Merion Elementary School.

On December 28, 2019, the boys said they woke up to the smell of smoke. The fire chief says an extension cable caught on fire in the basement and the boys were the first ones to recognize the danger.

"Smoke shouldn't come out of the floorboards and vents," said Cooper. "We opened the windows and went to get mom and dad."

"I thought it's the wintertime, it is steam coming out of the laundry vent, so I told them to go back to bed. They didn't listen, thankfully," said Dolan Kneafsey, the boys' father.

"It was just so fast that I didn't really get time to think about it. I just went out of the house quickly."

Two months later, there are still boarded up windows on the home and there's a faint smell of smoke. The family says they still can't live there and it's been hard, but hearing from the fire department has been a bright spot.

"It's been an insane couple of months so it's just a nice moment within all of it to have something positive come out of it," said Amy Fiske, the boys' mother.
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