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BEAVERTON, Ore. -- A 9-year-old Beaverton boy helped save his family from a gas leak in their home Friday.

Trystin Bullard said he woke up and smelled something burning, so he told his mom.

I smelled a weird thing I never smelled before and it smelled like it would be dangerous, he said.

A rusty water heater in the garage had caught fire and was leaking carbon monoxide, said his mother Jamie Bullard. The family was able to escape the home and call 911.

He s a protector, Jamie said. He's a hero to us because if he didn't tell us, we don't know where we could have been.

She said the family was unaware the batteries on their carbon monoxide detector had died.

Fire officials said it s a reminder that people should check their CO detectors at least once a year.

Click for more on CO safety

Last fall, five members of a Happy Valley family were hospitalized after an improperly vented pool heater filled their home with carbon monoxide.

Related: Carbon monoxide poisons 5 in Clack. Co. home

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