Fire department award

Jaylani Ward, daughter of Jasmin Ward, Defiance, received an award for valor Tuesday afternoon from the Defiance Fire Department for her actions when a fire broke out in her home on Feb. 4. She rounded up her three younger siblings and got them out of their rural Defiance two-story home by coordinating a fire drill. Here, Ward poses with members of the fire department and a Defiance County Sheriff’s deputy.

A 6-year-old Defiance girl was honored Tuesday afternoon for her bravery and quick thinking during a fire at her home earlier this month.

On the morning of Feb. 4, Jaylani Ward, daughter of Jasmin Ward, reportedly rounded up her three younger siblings and got them out of their rural Defiance two-story home by coordinating a fire drill.

“The Defiance Fire and Rescue Division is proud to honor a local child for her actions when a fire broke out in her home,” said Lt. Brandon Case, in a press release. This served as a formal proclamation for the fire department that a “certificate of recognition shall be given by Jaylani Ward for valor and life-saving actions.”

Case relayed that at 7:30 a.m. Feb. 4, Jaylani’s grandparents, James and Angie Ward, smelled an odor of smoke in the home. Jaylani was awakened and instructed to get her siblings outdoors. She is a first-grader at Defiance Elementary School.

“Jaylani awoke her three siblings and escorted them out of the house to a predesignated meeting place in front of the home,” said Case. “Jaylani demonstrated courage and valor in getting her siblings to safety. This allowed Jaylani’s grandparents to locate the fire and attempt to extinguish it prior to Defiance Fire and Rescue’s imminent arrival.”

The children were kept warm in the cruiser of a Defiance County Sheriff’s deputy until it was safe to return to the home.

On Tuesday, a formal presentation was held at the fire department, honoring Jaylani. Case and Fire Chief Bill Wilkins honored the youngster for her efforts. A certificate of recognition was awarded to the youth, as well as a fire department challenge coin, department T-shirt and four stuffed animals — dalmatians, of course.

Fire damage to the 22730 Watson Road home was approximately $3,000, reported by the fire department. Upon arrival that morning, fire crews found light smoke throughout the home.

Crews opened a ceiling in the basement and found smoke coming from a door frame that led from the house to the garage. The cause of the fire was a low-voltage electrical line that was in the wall space.

On the front page: Jaylani Ward, daughter of Jasmin Ward, Defiance, received an award for valor Tuesday afternoon from the Defiance Fire Department for her actions when a fire broke out in her home on Feb. 4. She rounded up her three younger siblings and got them out of their rural Defiance two-story home by coordinating a fire drill. Here, Ward poses with members of the fire department and a Defiance County Sheriff’s deputy.

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