Surprise Squad honors Westfield boy who helped save family from fire

When the Western Mass News Surprise Squad and the Hyundai Dealers of Western Massachusetts learned of his actions and loss, we knew we had to pay him a visit.
Updated: Jul. 28, 2021 at 5:06 PM EDT
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WESTFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- We have an update on a Westfield family that lost all, but each other in an overnight fire and the young man credited with getting everyone out.

At just 11 years old, David Masso sprung into action as the flames spread. When the Western Mass News Surprise Squad and the Hyundai Dealers of Western Massachusetts learned of his actions and loss, we knew we had to pay him a visit.

February 4 was a typical weeknight for the Masso family.

“I came home from work, took a shower, didn’t smell anything,” said Miriam Masso.

However, shortly after midnight, things took a drastic turn when Miriam Masso was awoken by a faint alarm.

“…Then I heard a crash. I went to see if the dog got out of the cage…the ceiling fan was on the ground and the ceiling was engulfed in flames,” Masso explained.

David Masso added, “I woke up with a swollen eye. I couldn’t see out of it, then when I smelt the smoke I came out of my room.”

Miriam Masso said, “…Screamed for my husband. I think he came out first, then my husband, actually…Told my husband to get the kids out. I turned to him and said ‘You need to get mom and papa out now!’ He was like flash. I didn’t see him until he picked up everybody and put them in the car and said ‘Okay mommy, back it up.’

[Reporter: When you say he, you’re talking…?]

“My son. My big baby,” Miriam Masso added.

David Masso said, “…Hard to breathe. I just wanted to go quick. I didn’t want to smell it anymore. It hurt seeing it, but...”

[Reporter: Were you thinking of your grandma and grandpa, too?]


[Reporter: What are they like? What do they mean to you?]


After hearing David’s story, we wanted to honor his bravery, so we told David and his mom to meet us back at their house. They thought we were just getting an update on their recovery efforts, but the Surprise Squad had other ideas.

We learned that David loves to play football and watch his favorite team, the New England Patriots, so we got him a new jersey and some other gear to fill the void the fire left, but that wasn’t all. Our sponsors, the Hyundai Dealers of Western Mass. surprised David with some money to spend on tickets to a Patriots game.

“We are very sorry for what you went through, just wish you the best and want to support you in any way that we can. On behalf of the Western Mass. Hyundai Dealers, we want to present you this check for $750,” said Gary Rome, owner of Gary Rome Hyundai.

The Springfield Thunderbirds also got in on the fun.

“Some hats, jerseys, some shirts. In this bag, there’s tickets too. Come enjoy the game with your buddy, Boomer,” said Matthew McRobbie with the Springfield Thunderbirds.

Carla Cosenzi, co-owner of Tommy Car Auto Group and Country Hyundai, noted, “This is touching. He’s so brave and courageous. At such a young age, it’s really nice to come and honor and surprise him.”

Brian Houser with Balise Hyundai said, “For him to see the place where the fire occurred, I’m sure brought back memories, but this is a positive one where we can say thanks for what you did.”

“Thank you for everything,” David Masso said.

The Massos said that they are overblown by the support this community has shown them, adding others need more help than them, but if you would like to donate to the Masso’s recovery fund, you can CLICK HERE.