Baby Doll Saves La Vergne Tennessee Family From Burning House

Caring for an infant doll is a timeless piece of high school curriculum, like dissecting a frog or running the mile. And while the assignment is frequently parodied and joked about, one Tennessee family couldn't be more grateful for their imitation bundle of joy.

Tennessee authorities say that a girl's crying simulation baby is what saved a family of three from the fire that burned their house down early Monday morning.

"The student said she was normally a heavy sleeper but hadn't been since she had to bring the doll home. The doll was making noise and woke her up," City of La Vergne spokeswoman Kathy Tyson told The Daily News Journal. "She went to leave the room because she thought she heard what sounded like a plate breaking. When she opened the door, the smoke hit her in the face."

That "plate breaking" sound was a window shattering in the back of the house. After hearing the noise, the teen quickly woke her mother and her mother's boyfriend and the group ran for safety.

Instructors at La Vergne High School assigned the baby doll, which simulates the crying, waking, and feeding habits of an actual baby, to teach students the responsibilities of caring for a child.

Witnesses including La Vergne Fire Marshall Victor Woods could not believe that the doll made such a rescue.

"The daughter wanted to go back in and retrieve her car keys and it was beyond that point," Woods told local News Channel 5. "If another minute or two had gone by it could have been a very different outcome."