On Dulles Day in September, 2015, Assistant Fire Marshal Captain Michael Osborne and other firefighters coached hundreds of children through a home fire safety escape course set up at the event thanks to his initiative. Little did they know how well the exhibit would impress on the memory of one 5-year-old girl named Gabby Mushahwar.
Several weeks later, Captain Osborne received a letter of appreciation forwarded by the plane pull organizers from the Mushahwar family. One parent wrote, “This morning, our house was woken up by the sound of the smoke alarm detectors from a small but smoky electric fire and to my surprise, my daughter executed the training that she received from the Fire/EMS team to the ‘T.’ She [knew] exactly what to do and how to move.” The grateful family escaped unharmed and was invited back to Fire Station 301 at Reagan National for a special tour. The visit was broadcast on Channel 5's local newscast and on Fox affiliates all around the United States.
Osborne was delighted to meet the family again – and learn more about what 5-year-old Gabby Mushahwar did on that fateful night. Awoken by the shrill of smoke alarms, Gabby hopped out of bed and crawled to her parents’ room, urging them to evacuate the house to a safe meeting place and wait for the fire department. The fire was quickly extinguished, but heavy smoke damage remained for weeks.
Special thanks to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Life Safety Committee for bringing the home escape exhibit to Dulles Day. The exhibit will be return next fall to the airport's popular annual open house, to be held in September (date to be determined).