The school project is designed to show teens a realistic look at how it is to take care of an infant. Before the doll is brought home with the student, it is programmed by the school teacher to cry at different times of the day or night, unexpectedly, just like cries occur with a real infant.
On Oct. 24, 17-year-old Christian Deason was awakened by the doll's crying at 3:30 a.m. and discovered the room engulfed in smoke. The family, who lives in the Nashville, Tenn. area, were all asleep when Deason was awakened to tend to her 'baby'. When she realized what was happening, she quickly got her family out of the burning home.
According to MSNBC
"It was a big white wall of smoke," Deason said. "I fanned it for a second, and I see flames. I ran straight to my mother's room, got her out, got my dog out, put the toy baby in the carrier, and we were out."
Reports indicate the fire detectors in the house were not operating correctly, and according to La Vergne Fire Marshal Victor Woods, the family only had about a minute to escape the burning dwelling.
"The toy doll crying was really the key to getting them out safely," said Woods.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration
, a division under FEMA, approximately 3,500 people die in fires a year, and most of these occur because either no smoke detectors were in the house, or they weren't operating correctly. Experts often recommend Daylights Savings Time is a good time
to change both the clocks and the batteries for smoke detectors to ensure they are working correctly.
Both mother and daughter feel fate played an important role in their family getting to safety. According to the MSNBC report,
"I think God works in mysterious ways," said Marina Deason. "Definitely fate had something to do with it."
"I was supposed to get this baby, I was supposed to take it home — everything was supposed to happen the way it happened," said Christian Deason.
Unfortunately the family home was destroyed, but thanks to the doll's crying, all family members are safe from what might have been a far worse tragedy.
A collection has been taken up for the family and contributions can be made at any First Tennessee Bank, just ask for the Deason Family Fire Fund.