Young hero prevents potential tragedy at the Winona public library

Young Hero Prevents Tragedy in Winona

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(ABC 6 News) – It was just a normal Wednesday evening for Addison Adank-Cada and her mother Katherine Adank.

The two returned a book at the Winona Public Library on Nov. 8 when Addison pointed out something that looked like trouble just before 5:30 p.m., after library hours.

“We were walking and then, I saw the garbage can on fire.”

That prompted Addison to quickly alert her mom to call the police.

Addison’s family said they never saw how the blaze started, but as the fire started to grow, they knew they needed to help.

“It was going to be bigger than a small fire and she said wait, I’ve got a water bottle,” her mother said.

While that didn’t put out the fire, it bought them enough time for first responders to finish the job.

The Winona Police Department recognized Addison’s heroic actions, awarding her with the WPD Challenge Coin.

“We were very fortunate that Addison was able to return books shortly after that fire started,” library associate Sandy Pilarski said.

The Winona public library also wanted to do something for Addison to reward her efforts.

They gave her a t-shirt and ID badge to make her an honorary member.

“We just want to tell Addison and her mom, thank you so much for being here, Addison showed a great amount of bravery in doing what she did, it’s the classic if you see something, say something and she did,” technical services librarian Linda Weinmann said.

Addison said she’s proud she and her mom prevented a potential disaster from happening.

She’s happy to not have turned a blind eye-and looks forward to future trips to the library. Now as an honorary member.

“I could’ve been like a different person, I could’ve just ignored it and said oh whatever like it doesn’t really matter like it’ll just go out by itself. I do feel really proud of myself, I feel really happy that I just didn’t ignore it.”

The library is looking forward to celebrating 125 years of operation next year.

Officers did find a suspected source of the fire on Nov. 15.

Law enforcement arrested 21-year-old Alicia Thornton after telling officers she started the fire on purpose.

Thornton faces charges of first degree arson from the incident.

Her first court appearance is on Friday, Nov. 17 at 10 a.m.