'It would have been worse': Family says teacher alerted student to house fire during virtual class

The teacher, who wants to remain anonymous, alerted the first-grader to smoke at his grandmother's house, called 911 and brought laptops, clothing and food when the fire displaced his family.


During a virtual learning session, a fast-thinking teacher was able to alert a first-grade student to a house fire before it was too late.

Seven-year-old Christian Powell Jr., a student in Washington, D.C., said he came back from a break when the teacher alerted him to smoke at his grandmother's house and then called 911.

"She told me to move my computer, so she could see...and then she told me to go to a parent," Powell told WJLA.

Powell's grandmother, Lysandra Lawrence, said "it would have been worse" without the teacher taking action.

"Life could be gone," Lawrence told the news station. "It was caught in time, so it wouldn't be a complete damage. And I thank God for that."

It took firefighters about 15 minutes to extinguish the fire. Lawrence and at least 8 others are staying at a hotel until the home is repaired. Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire.

In the meantime, Powell's teacher brought over two laptops, clothes and some food. She wants to remain anonymous.