7-year-old boy credited with saving father during Costa Mesa fire

COSTA MESA, Calif. -- A 7-year-old Costa Mesa boy is being called a hero after he alerted his father about a fire in his family's garage.

There was still caution tape blocking the driveway of his home, but William Rimmer said it could've been much worse, if it wasn't for his son William Rimmer II.

"My son really, really pulled through, he's definitely a hero," William Rimmer said.

William Rimmer said he had tucked his son into bed at about 9 p.m. on Saturday. The father said he fell asleep in the living room and awoke to his son shaking him and screaming, "fire, fire!"

"No smoke or anything like that. Went to the garage door, opened the garage door and it was just a fiery inferno," William Rimmer said.

The second-grader said he saw the flames from his bedroom window. William Rimmer grabbed his son and their dog and got out of the house while neighbors called 911. He credited his son for saving their lives and their home.

"He knows about the fire safety and when to stay back and when not to, what to recognize, and stuff like that," William Rimmer said.

Part of the reason the boy knows about fire safety is because he attended an open house at his local fire station two weeks ago.

His name was still on the sign-in banner from the fire safety class.

"Tell an adult, get out and stay out and that's exactly what this kid did that day, and we're very proud of him for that," said Costa Mesa Fire and Rescue Capt. Chris Coates.

Some of the firefighters even recognized him at the scene. They helped console him after the flames destroyed his bicycle and everything else in the garage.

"I said we have our dog, we have each other and we're alive, so that was the biggest thing," William Rimmer explained.

William Rimmer said his son wants to be a brain surgeon someday, but if that doesn't work out, firefighters said they have an idea for his future career.

"Maybe we have a future Costa Mesa fire and rescue employee on our hands, definitely a junior firefighter at this point," Coates said with a smile.

Fire officials said the cause of the fire was still under investigation.
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