NORTH SYDNEY — For Mitchell Boutilier, his 15th birthday is not one he's likely to forget.
© TC Media - Cape Breton Post
Chris Marsh, 13, and Mitchell Boutilier, 15, both of North Sydney, stand in front of the home on Centre Street where they alerted the owner of a fire on Monday.
"We were walking down from my house after eating birthday cake, going to his (friend Chris Marsh's) house and we happened to see smoke coming out of the window," Boutilier recalled of what happened on Monday at 52 Centre St. "So we ran to the door to check it out."
Boutiler and Marsh could see Lloyd Bona's bike outside so they knew he was home. When they reached the house, they knew something was wrong.
"I opened the screen door and the window was opened and smoke just started pouring out," said Boutilier. "I touched the door and the door was locked and I looked back at Chris and said 'You got to go get someone.'"
Marsh went to the home of a nearby relative of Boutilier's but she wasn't home. Boutiler began yelling in hopes someone would hear him but no one came. He also knew Bona was a sound sleeper.
"Then Chris got back so I started kicking the door through and then I had just about got through when I heard him running through the house and then he opened the door and came out on the step, coughing his lungs up and just fell, and then the fire department showed up."
In the end, the fire damaged the home's oven and the flooring in the kitchen but there were no serious injuries. North Sydney Fire Department Chief Lloyd MacIntosh said fires like this happen all the time but they can also have tragic consequences.
"Did they save his life? I don't know, they might have," said MacIntosh. "I've seen people die from less, I've seen people survive worse but you know what? They definitely did a good thing. Call them heroic, at the very least, call them exemplary examples of good kids.
"They're two kids who were in the right spot and did the right thing and they deserve a pat on the back for it."
Chris Marsh's father, Chris March Sr., said he was pleased about what they did.
"I am proud of them and so is Lloyd."