Sask. father-son duo presented with Award of Merit for quick actions during house fire

In July, Mitch and Jaxon Hozack were on their way to Jaxon’s semi-final baseball game in Saskatoon when they noticed black smoke coming from two houses.

Mitch pulled over and saw the deck was on fire. He told Jaxon to call 911 before jumping out of the vehicle and banging on doors.

As the fire grew, Mitch acted even quicker – eventually grabbing people’s attention and warning them to get out.

“(It’s) 10 after 8 a.m., quarter after eight in the morning on a Sunday. In the moment, seemingly, a very angry person answers the door. I said ‘You’ve got to get out of the house. The side of your house is on fire,’” Mitch said.

Everyone was safely evacuated from both homes that were on fire.

It’s that quick response that led to the Saskatoon Fire Department presenting the pair with an Award of Merit on Wednesday.

“We are thankful that Mitch and Jaxon were willing to spontaneously put their morning plans aside for the safety of others,” said Chief Morgan Hackl in a news release.

“Helping others, even those we have no connection to, is a value at the heart of the culture in Saskatoon. We recognize Mitch and Jaxon for putting this value into action.” 

The fire department received the report on July 25 of a bungalow engulfed in flames on the 3400 block of 33rd Street West.

When they arrived, fire crews noticed that the bungalow on fire was threatening to spread to homes on either side.

Damage was estimated at $325,000.

Even after helping evacuate the homes, Mitch and Jaxon made it to the baseball game.

"They were up by three, he was pitching and there were two outs and he gave up a grand slam and they lost. After the game, he came up and said 'That one hurt dad, that one really hurt,’” Mitch said.

“And then he said 'But we have a house to go home to.’ It was a pretty good morning to learn some perspective.”

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