Sometimes, something good comes out of something bad. That’s the case with a fire early this month at an apartment complex on Grande Circle.
Latrell McCockran, 14, raced into his neighbor’s apartment June 14 as the apartment building burned. The fire ultimately destroyed three apartments and caused smoke damage to two others, with the loss estimated at $400,000.
Meanwhile Latrell’s younger brother, Latravion, 12, went door to door to warn people of the danger.
There was no loss of life – or even serious injury – connected to the fire. Credit the McCockran brothers for a fair slice of that good fortune.
They could have stood by and watched, as so many people do at structure fires. They could have taken pictures of the fire as it spread, and of the scene as it unfolded, for later use on social media. Instead, they acted – decisively – to the benefit of their neighbors and to the credit of themselves and their mother, Latisha McCockran, who said she’s taught her sons to get involved when it’s appropriate to do so.
In this instance, Latrell likely saved a 62-year-old disabled man – and his dog – from injury, or worse. That’s because he entered the man’s apartment and helped him out, then returned to the apartment to rescue the dog. As Friday’s happenings on Tulip Street showed, it’s all too easy for fires to lead to serious injuries.
This is a feel-good story in a world where the most-dire news often gets top billing. The positive response by the community to the actions of the McCockran brothers, therefore, is appropriate.
That response included recognition Tuesday by the Fairfield City Council. Gifts were given to the brothers – tickets to an Oakland Raiders game this season, Suisun Valley produce, Fairfield Fire Department T-shirts, a gift certificate. Council members and Fire Chief Tony Velasquez offered words of praise. The boys will be guests of firefighters for a meal at a fire station.
Who knows? Perhaps we’ve seen a glimpse of a future city firefighter, possibly a fire chief. Latrell certainly showed he has what it takes to race into danger instead of away from it, and Latravion displayed a level of cool-headed focus that’s required within the profession.
We offer our praise to Latrell and Latravion, not just for their actions but for the inspiration we hope they give to teens and preteens across the community to always do the right thing. Finally, we praise Latisha McCockran for instilling a sense of community and a sense of service in her young sons.