Kirsten Mustain

Grove Sun

When William Hale, a seventh grade student at Grove Mid School, was awakened at 1:00 a.m. last Sunday by the lights flickering and, subsequently, his neighbor knocking on his bedroom window, he didn’t realize that he was about to become a hero.

“Our electrical box in the (home) office caught on fire,” William explained. “I woke up quick and got my family out.”

He stumbled out of bed and rushed to his parents’ bedroom, waking them moments before a burning wall crashed down right on their bed.

“I’m glad I saved them,” William, who brims with youthful enthusiasm, said.

“My dad had to crawl on the floor to get Mom’s purse and cell phone,” he added.

William also saved his sister, Angel Smiley.

William’s parents, Harrell and Crystal Smiley did not have insurance. The family was living in a rental home.

“We lost everything,” William said. “Even my Bakugons.”

Despite his family’s losses, William is cheerful and grateful for the help he has received.

Grove Mid School Assistant Principal Theresa Morley said she has been deeply touched by the family.

“They may have lost everything the owned,” Morley said. “But, they did not lose each other. They are happy because they love each other.

“Lots of kids and faculty members I know are going through some tough things,” she continued. “But William and his family remind us to be thankful for what’s really important – being together.”

The family is currently staying at the Best Western in Grove, and seeking a permanent residence.

Anyone who knows of a place where they might live or who wishes to offer assistance may contact Morley at 918-786-2209 or tmorley@ridgerunners.net.