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'She dropped it and it got on her breathing tube and it caught fire': Bardstown boy saves elderly woman's life

"I don't want her to die," Alister Leger cried to a Nelson County dispatcher. Little did he know, he'd already saved the woman's life.

BARDSTOWN, Ky. — "I don't want her to die," Alister Leger cried to a Nelson County dispatcher Saturday night.

In the middle of watching a Christmas movie on the Hallmark Channel, the 10-year-old jumped to action when his friend's great-grandmother caught on fire.

According to the Bardstown Fire Department, the 80-year-old woman smoked a cigarette while on oxygen and an ember drifted toward the machine. 

"She dropped it and it got on her breathing tube and it caught fire," Leger told WHAS11 News.

He ran to grab water, first by the cup, then by the bucket. Leger described the fire shrinking and expanding as he padded it down, before finally extinguishing it.

Bardstown Interim Fire Chief Todd Spalding said simply, "It's just pretty amazing."

Spalding said he had a similar experience when he was just 12 years old. His home caught fire due to an electrical issue. He described a slight helplessness in the moment and admiration for the firefighters he would one day join.

It makes Leger's feat even more astonishing. 

"Not only did he save her life, but he also limited the risk to the firefighters of having to go in and put out a fully involved structure fire," Spalding said.

As the firefighters on the scene Saturday celebrated Leger, the 10-year-old boy's mom walked up to the scene. 

She had been at work, just a block away.

 "And I didn't hear nothing of the commotion," She said. "So, when I came over here on my break to check on him, there were all these fire trucks and all these cop cars up front." 

When she brought Alistair home, he was still worried for the 80-year-old woman he saved.

"One of the first things he said when he came home was 'how's Bobby doing? What's Bobby doing?'" she said.

Bobby was airlifted to the UofL Burn Unit and is now recovering at Flaget Hospital. Her family said she's doing well and they're even expecting her home soon. 

An outcome that might not have been possible, if it weren't for Alistair Leger.

"It's almost beyond words that a 10-year-old can have that type of demeanor in that type of situation," Spalding said. "As firefighters, we train ongoing and ongoing... and he has that type of demeanor without that type of training."

So, WHAS11 had to ask Leger, if he wanted to be a firefighter like Spalding wanted when he was 12.

"Most likely, yeah," he said.

The Bardstown Fire Department is working on a plan to celebrate and recognize Leger for his contributions. 

Follow WHAS11 News on Facebook to see the update once it happens.

► Contact reporter Tom Lally at TLally@whas11.com or on Facebook or Twitter.

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