Photo by Zachariah Bryan
10-year-old Ellie receives a medal from Lt. Brian Boulay for her courage and quick thinking in preventing a fire from becoming dangerous.

10-year-old girl awarded medal for preventing boat fire at marina

Everyone heard the sirens, but few heard the story behind them.

On Nov. 20, 2012, at 8:23 a.m., Seattle Fire responded to a small boat fire at Shilshole Bay Marina. We reported on it that day, as everyone in the neighborhood could hear the three fire trucks screaming down Market St, but by the time firefighters got there, the small electrical fire coming from the control panel was already out.

We figured there was nothing more to say. But we were wrong.

It turns out, a brave ten-year-old girl was responsible for preventing the fire from getting worse. Her name is Ellie.

She was in the back of the boat when she could smell something funny, and then she saw smoke. "It was really scary," she said.

But not scary enough. Acting on her own -- her parents were just ten boats down the dock, at the moment oblivious -- she alerted her neighbors and called 911. She even sent her dad a text.

"She sent me a text," Scott Brosius said. "'Dad, there's smoke,' but I didn't get in time."

The neighbor shut off all the power in the boat, which put out the electrical fire on the control panel. By the time the Fire Department responders arrived -- all three fire trucks-worth -- everything was already over.

But if the fire was left unattended, and had Ellie not acted quickly to alert her neighbors, it could have been much, much worse.

On Friday, Jan. 18, family members, Port of Seattle officials and the Fire Department responders who were at the scene got together at Shilshole Bay Marina to celebrate Ellie's quick thinking.

"We're here to thank you and we think you deserve an 'atta girl,'" said Tracy McKendry, Port of Seattle's general manager of recreational boating.

For her heroic deed, she received a special medal from the Fire Department recognizing her courage. "We heard about what you did and we wanted you to know that we take this kind of thing very seriously," said Lt. Brian Boulay, who was one of the responders, as he presented the medal.

When she asked what her first reaction was, she said, "I thought, 'Oh no! Our boat's going to burn down."

Of course for Ellie, who McKendry referred to as the "triple C" -- calm, cool and collected -- it wasn't scary enough to keep her from doing the right thing.


Photo courtesy of Port of Seattle
Back row, left to right: Scott Brosius, Firefighters Jesse Gorham, Zach Schade, Lt. Brian Boulay, and Adrian Navarro
Front: Ellie Brosius, and her mom, Angela Brosius.

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