Teens save animals from barn fire

Three high school students helped rescue animals as flames were quickly spreading.
Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 10:34 PM EST
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POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Three high school students are being praised for their bravery after they spotted a fire at a barn and jumped into action, getting animals away from the flames.

Gavin Leach is a junior at Point Pleasant High School. He and his friends Logan Casey and Caleb Pierson were on their way back to school around noon Monday when they saw the barn down the road from the school burning.

“When it all happened, we were not thinking at all,” Leach said. “We were just trying to do our best.”

Before firefighters arrived, the teens stopped and began opening gates, getting animals out of the barn as flames were quickly spreading.

“When we first got there, there was just a small flame on the side of the building,” Leach said. “By the time we jumped the fence and the gate and actually got into the sheep pen, it got terrible by that point. You could barely stand in there.”

The teens worked to get sheep, horses, cows, and donkeys out.

“Most of them ran out when we opened the gates,” Leach said. “We got behind them and kind of herded them to the other side.”

He says it took more effort to remove the donkeys.

“We ended up having to put them in chokeholds and just drag them over to the next field,” Leach said. “They would not move at all. You could push them all you want.”

Dr. Agnes Enrico-Simon owns the property and rents the barn out.

“They’re pretty amazing kids,” she said.

She says several of the animals didn’t make it, but without the students’ brave actions, it’s likely none of them would’ve survived.

“They risked their lives to save some of those animals,” she said. “I was speechless for the love. They were so selfless to come over and help out.”

“We didn’t notice how bad it could’ve been or what could’ve gone wrong,” Leach said. “We just wanted to save animals.”

The Point Pleasant Fire Department announced they will be showing their gratitude to these young men at a special ceremony at 5 p.m. this Friday at the Mason County Vocational School.

There’s no word on how the fire started.