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Mom says 14-year-old’s cellphone gaming habit saved family from fire

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THORNTON, Colo. – A Colorado mother credits her teenage son and his cellphone for saving the family’s lives.

The Schultz family has lived in the same rented home in the 11000 block of Dhalia Drive in Thornton for six years.

Jennifer Schultz and her husband have two children, two dogs and two rabbits. Their son, Dezmin, was up past midnight Friday night doing what most teenagers do at that time.

“I was just playing games on my phone,” the 14-year-old told KDVR.

He said he heard strange noises coming from his bedroom wall and when he looked outside he saw a glare that resembled fire.

“I went outside and looked and saw part of the house was on fire,” he said.

Dezmin immediately ran back in to save his sleeping family.

“He came into my room and said 'Mom the house is on fire,'” she said. “I was shocked because I was in such a deep sleep.”

They didn’t even have time to grab coats, clothes or shoes.

“We were out of the house within a minute and the whole house on the back side was engulfed,” she said.

Jennifer Schultz said she believes her son is a hero.

“If he wouldn’t have woken us up it would have been a lot different story,” she said. “Now I’m like you can stay up and text as long as you want."

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but the Schultzes believe it was an electrical fire caused by mice nesting in the walls.

Most of their belongings are ruined from smoke and water damage, and they believe the rest of the interior of the home is contaminated with asbestos.

It is unclear when or if they’ll be allowed back into the home. In the meantime, they are staying in a hotel.

“And we did not have renter’s insurance,” Jennifer Schultz said. “So we’re not sure what’s next.”

Schultz is also battling bladder cancer so she is not able to work.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the losses and unexpected costs.