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Briar Carpenter earned a WFD helmet from Chief Steiner.

There was a special ceremony last week for a pair of young Webster heroes and family, after a young man and his younger sister saved their tiny siblings and dog from a sweeping house fire that happened in rural Webster recently.

The ceremony drew the attention of local law enforcement, fire fighters, legislators and even Congress, as young Briar Carpenter was honored alongside his younger sister, Peyton, who assisted the teen hero in evacuating the home on Labor Day weekend, Sept. 5, when their parents, Jay and Kelly Omar, went to the store for dinner, leaving them in charge of the youngsters, Jocelyn, Willow and Sawyer, who was just six months old, at the time.

It was just before 5:30 p.m. when a fire began to rage across the home, filling it with smoke, with young Briar first trying desperately to put the blaze out, before grabbing the siblings with Peyton and leading them out.

Webster Fire Chief Al Steiner gave some background on the dispatch they received, which they were told was a structure fire on Gables Road - located between Yellow and Devils lakes.

“The dispatcher told us the house was fully engulfed,” Steiner said. “Then she paused, and said there might be kids inside. All of our hearts sank right then.”

Steiner said that was “the worst kind of call a fire department ever hears.” However, when the firefighters arrived on scene moment slater, they were relieved to learn that everyone had escaped safely.

“A little bit better feeling then,” Steiner said with a nod and a sigh, noting how the family had worked on an emergency plan recently and that the action of the youngsters literally saved the family and prevented what might have been a sullen tragedy.

Webster Fire Department volunteers were on hand at the ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 9, where they joined several other officials in honoring the kids and the family that survived the tragedy, even though they lost their home to the blaze.

Steiner presented a special fire helmet, emblazoned with the family name for Briar, who was just 13 years-old at the time. He also invited Briar to join the department when he gets older, hoping he can get him into volunteer firefighting.

“You did a great job,” Steiner told the boy. “Love to see you in eight years!”

Burnett County Sheriff Tracy Finch also praised the boy and his family, noting that Briar’s heroism was notable and worth celebrating.

“You truly are a hero,” Finch stated. “You did things that we get paid to do … But you did it out of need, acted on reaction, and you did a phenomenal job. You should be very proud of yourself, and we’re all proud of you.”

Finch gave Briar a Burnett County Sheriff’s ‘hero award,’ and also offered to have him join a deputy on a ride along sometime soon.

Briar and his family were also given special state recognition as State Senator Rob Stafsholt presented Briar with a Legislative citation from the state, honoring his bravery, courage and quick thinking.

“(Briar) exemplified bravery beyond his years, putting his own safety at risk to protect the safety of others,” Stafsholt read, citing how the family’s emergency plan was executed perfectly, and how his fortitude, selflessness and strength of mind saved his family.

“Briar gives all others a solid example to follow, and for that we are so grateful,” Stafsholt said in closing.

Congressman Tom Tiffany also heaped praise on the Webster Fire Department volunteers, Briar and the family, while also pointing out that the heroics made the national news.

Tiffany read from a proclamation he read recently into the US Congressional record, praising Briar and Peyton for the good work they did in saving the family.

“Your whole family is so grateful, all of us are so grateful for the work that you did,” Tiffany said, then he read the statement he presented to Congress on Sept. 22 citing the incident and the heroics of that day.

“Kelly and Jay, you’ve got a real hero there,” Tiffany said to Briar’s parents.

Tiffany also noted the contributions of younger sister Peyton and her efforts in saving the family, as he presented the Congressional award to them both.

While neither of the young heroes opted to comment on the big awards, the evening included special photos, treats and more, including for the family dog, who led Briar out when he tried to douse the blaze after the kids were safe.

The Omar family does have lots of obstacles to overcome from the fire, which literally claimed everything they own; friends have created a ‘Go Fund Me’ page to help the family recover, which has so far garnered over $14,000 of a $20,000 goal.