Teen, neighbors honored for saving kids from Ogden fire

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OGDEN — When Jordan Haviland woke up in the living room to the smell of smoke and popping sounds from the kitchen, his first instinct was to make sure his two younger siblings got out of the house safe.

That's what drove the teenager to run to the basement to warn Taylee, 8, and Payton 11, of the fire that was taking over the upstairs.

Jordan led the way up the stairs and out of the house, but Payton and Taylee weren't able to keep up, and smoke soon blocked their path.

I've got to save her so she doesn't get hurt.

–Payton Haviland

"By the time the two youngsters were going up the stairs, the fire moved very, very quickly and was already breaching that doorway," Ogden Mayor Matthew Godfrey said Friday.

"It was too smokey and hot," Taylee said.

The two kids ran back downstairs and Jordan yelled to them to meet him at the basement window where he would help them out.

Taylee was so scared. She ran up and down the stairs looking for a way out.

Like his older brother, Payton was concerned about helping his younger sister. Payton said he called out to her to try to get her to the window, and even grabbed a fire extinguisher and pulled the pin in an attempt to dampen the flames.

"I've got to save her so she doesn't get hurt," Payton remembers thinking.


The pair made their way over to the window, where their brother and two neighbors broke through the metal frame to help them.

"I could see their little faces poking through the window," Jordan recalls. He said it was clear to him and the two bystanders what they needed to do.

"We didn't even communicate, they just followed right behind me," Jordan said. Jordan jumped down into the basement to help them out.

It was the bravery the youngsters showed and the selflessness of the rescuers that got the city's attention. In all, five people were recognized Friday for keeping their cool under pressure — even when faced with flames and smoke.

"Jordan jumped down in and pushed his siblings out while these two great neighbors pulled them out," Godfrey said. "All five of these (people) need to be recognized for stepping in when they were needed."

The three siblings were given passes for an indoor sky diving experience at iFly in Ogden. Payton and Taylee also received medals from the fire department for following directions and staying calm, while Taylor and the two neighbors received certificates of recognition.

"We're very proud of you and we want to thank you for this great work," Godfrey said.

The fire caused damage totaling an estimated $75,000. The fire was deemed not suspicious, but the exact cause has not yet been determined.



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Molly Farmer


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