LECLAIRE, Iowa-- Aaron Bleyaert was fast asleep just minutes before a problem with the electricity in his home turned into a full on nightmare.
"I'd gotten up, I looked back. The side of my bed was on fire," says Bleyaert.
Just days later, It's hard for this 14-year-old to put into words just how lucky he was.
Aaron says it was his fire prevention skills he learned in school that got him out to safety.
"To know your route out, pretty simple saying. And it can stick in some kid's heads, maybe not in other. But if it does, keep it that way," says Bleyaert who smelt smoke, grabbed a t-shirt to shield his face, and ran out of the house through the back door. He knew the front door's lock was tricky and would take extra time to open.
Once he was out, he says a stranger appeared out of nowhere to call for help.
"She saved the house in a way. If she wouldn't have called, then I don't know what would have happened," says Bleyaert.
Now, sifting through what's left, this family has a message they hope keeps others safe in the future.
"It's scary to know how fires are unpredictable. I can't imagine trying to save anything in any of those rooms because I just have a feeling you get yourself into trouble. Get out. Get out. It's not worth it," says Aaron's mom Sondra Sierens.
The pair says the fire changed their lives for the better.
"Strike up a conversation with your neighbor. Get to know them. I would have loved to know these people that came and helped my family. Going forward that's what we have to do," says Sierens.
Sierens wants you to reach out to your neighbor because you never know when you could need them.