Chocowinity youngster is hero

Published 4:00 am Sunday, July 11, 2010

Special to the Daily News

CHOCOWINITY — A few weeks ago, Peter and Christina Baker had a tough experience.
On June 27, an electrical spark from a fan in their four-year old son Alex’s room caused a fire. The wall lit up, taking two rooms of their Chocowinity house with it. The house is uninhabitable.
Christina Baker described the confusion of the day.
“I didn’t know what was going on. I was in the other room. I just saw smoke pouring out. Alex came out and was pointing at it. Fortunately then we both just got out of the house.”
Baker had plugged in the fan the night before. However, she and her husband were unaware of a leak in the wall. The next day at 12:30 p.m., disaster set in and the youngest Baker emerged as an unlikely hero of the event.
The son had never been so bold before. “He tried to stomp the fire out. He got some blisters on his toes which he didn’t tell me about until a few days later. He kept telling me that he had tried and tried,” his mother explained. His pit bull and pet frog were casualties of the fire.
Alex’s martial arts instructor Ron Cooper sought to turn the incident into a positive experience for the group of kids he teaches. Cooper holds classes at Clark’s Kiddie Coral, a daycare in Chocowinity.
Cooper explained to his class on this past Friday night the concept of courage.“It’s when you’ve got to do something that’s the right thing to do,” he said. “However you’re scared to do it. But you do it anyway.”
Cooper awarded Alex with a martial arts “medal for courage” before the beginning of the class.
Cooper has a professional fighting background and described his student as “very energetic with lots of potential.” Alex cannot compete until he is six years old, but Cooper noted that he is making important strides.
The young family is currently living with Christina Baker’s mom while they decide what to do with their house.