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Teen saves family from house fire, credits fate

Posted at 5:19 PM, Jun 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-06 21:25:58-04
Do you believe in fate? A decision made only by chance lead one teenage boy to take a different route home. That choice - saved the lives of one family who were completely unaware that their home was going up in flames. 
 
This all happened near Twin Peaks and Silverbell a few weeks ago on May 26. It turns out that teen actually knew one of the people inside the house. They went to elementary school, middle school and high school together. 
 
But, when Mathew Balicki saw the flames that night, he acted quickly, without knowing who was inside. But, he did know it would be a disaster if he did not help. 
 
Now, Taylor Davenport's room is only recognizable by the blackened bed frame and a closet full of charred clothes. 
 
"I keep looking at it just thinking like - all i had was in that room," Davenport said through tears. 
 
For Davenport and her family, seeing it in the light of day is hard to swallow. 
 
"People telling me that it could have been worse. I'm like, 'I know.' but, it's still... it's still really heart-breaking looking at it," Davenport explained. 
 
But, through the black smoke and flames an unlikely hero emerged, deciding to drive home a different way that night. 
 
"I see that there are cars here and the fire department isn't here," Balicki described. "And there's not people outside of the house, so that means that there's people inside of the house with the house on fire."
 
Balicki says, he just kicked it into high gear, running to the door where he yelled and banged for everyone inside to get out.
 
"Everyone started to panic," Balicki said. "Because you're gonna panic when your house is on fire."
 
They grabbed their three dogs. One of them is just a puppy, who was confused with what was going on, just like the rest of them.
 
Everyone followed Mathew, saying they needed to get across the street.
 
"He literally, he saved our lives," said Michelle Ayers. Her boyfriend and her were inside at the time. "If it weren't for him, we wouldn't have known. We didn't smell it. None of the smoke detectors went off."
 
They were all out when Mathew said, he heard the propane tank light. 
 
"And then it exploded," he said. 
 
So many things were lost, including pictures that are now coated and crispy along the edges. 
 
They are not sure exactly what happened, but the blame is on a fire pit they were using earlier that night.
 
"We don't know if maybe a spark flew out before and like maybe went through the deck and lit the weeds on fire or like what," Davenport said. "We have no idea because the fire wasn't even going."
 
No one knows why it happened and they are still wondering how, but Mathew said, he will forever wonder what caused him to drive-by.
 
"Definitely fate," he proclaimed. "yeah, because why else would I decide to take this ride home?"
 
Call it fate or call it a coincidence, but this family is just thankful for their lives.
 
The family said, they were renting the house. The homeowner did have insurance, but the family did not have renter's insurance. They have gotten some help from Gap Ministries, a social services non-profit here in Tucson. But, if you want to help the family, they have set-up a GoFundMe account. Click here