A toy doll that was part of a project to give teens a realistic look at parenting woke up 17-year-old Christian Deason just as a fire was destroying the family home. The doll is programmed to cry at different times of the day and night, just like a newborn baby. Deason’s teacher had programmed the doll on Friday before school finished for the weekend.

Deason took the doll home not knowing when it was programmed to cry. At 3:30 a.m. on Oct. 24 the baby doll began to cry, waking Deason up just as the fire was eating its way through her La Vergne, Tennessee house. Deason immediately got everyone out of the house.

“It was a big white wall of smoke, I fanned it for a second, and I see flames. I ran straight to my mothers room got her out, got my dog out, put the toy baby in the carrier, and we were out,” said Deason. La Vergne Fire Marshall Victor Woods said the fire detectors in the house were not working and the family had only about a minute to get out of the house.

“The toy doll crying was really the key to getting them out safely,” said Woods. Marina Deason, Christian Deason’s mother, believes fate may have played a hand in the teacher setting the programme for the doll to cry at 3:30 a.m. “I think God works in mysterious ways, definitely fate had something to do with it,” said Marina Deason.

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