HEROMANITOU, Ky. (6/3/16) — Members of the Manitou Volunteer Fire Department recognized an 11-year-old Madisonville girl Thursday night for heroic efforts.

Adriana “A.J.” Lutz was presented a plaque for waking her grandfather from a nap after noticing the Manitou home had filled with smoke. The blaze destroyed the home in April.

“I said, ‘Pappy, Pappy, get up! The house is on fire,’” Adriana said.

Adriana quickly went to the neighbor’s house to call 911, Roger Lutz said. When she returned, she re-entered the house to make sure he was safe.

“As soon as I got off the couch, I saw the fire,” the grandfather said. “I took one pass trying to turn the stove button off and it burned my fingers, so I went to the backyard and she thought I was still in there.”

The two weren’t injured, but the house was a total loss. Roger said he was heating up oil on the stovetop and it heated up quicker than usual.

“She’s been raising me for two years,” the proud grandfather said of his granddaughter.

The honor student stays with her grandfather on the weekends while her single mother, Jamie McGowan, who attends college during the week, works.

The rising James Madison Middle School student says she enjoys art and every kind of dance under the sun, which includes Lyrical, tap, hip-hop, ballet and jazz.

“She’s leaving for Georgia Saturday to perform a hip-hop dance,” McGowan said. “I plan to enroll her in a dance school after I get out of college and can afford it.”

Through her act of bravery, Adriana actually saved her grandfather’s life from the structure fire, Manitou Assistant Chief Michael Walker said.

“She had returned from calling 911 to make sure he was out of the house,” Walker said. “She witnessed the kitchen ceiling fall down — most children would freak out in that instance, and she actually stayed calmed throughout and saved a life.”

Roger’s house was torn down this week, and he is living in a mobile home on the property until his house is rebuilt.

“I’d like to thank the Manitou Fire Department and all the rest — Nebo, Richland and Hanson,” he said. “It could have been a lot worse if it weren’t for them.”

Doreen Dennis
SurfKY News Reporter
SurfKY News Video/Doreen Dennis

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