Family of Nine Escapes Fire, Left Homeless

An overnight fire forces a mother and her eight children from a home near 42nd and Miami. The call came in just before midnight for the fire as the mother returned from the store and found the home in flames.

Smoke billows out of a side window of this house on 42nd and Miami as rescue and fire crews work to extinguish a house fire. Now a day later, the sunlight shines on burnt rubble, left over from the night before.

Family friend and neighbor Pur Woul walks around the house where just last night, he was helping children to safety. Pur Woul says, "On our way out, one of them came inside, and 11-years-old she says, ‘grab her she’s inside now’, she’s going back in the house, I grabbed her and pulled her out of the house.”

Pur says when mom, Nyayuar, returned from the store she jumped out of the car ran to the house thinking the worst. Mom doesn't speak English, so Pur interprets for her. Pur says, "She thought the children they burned in the fire, she doesn't know what to do now."

The children, all eight of them and the mother are safe, but with little left. Chase Moffitt says, "It's a mothers worst nightmare, she steps out of the house for just a few minutes, only to return to see her house is on fire and children running next door, now most of their belongings are burnt or destroyed by the fire, but the good news, no one was hurt."

Kindergartner Martha Gatluak says she knew she needed to get her and her brothers and sisters out of the house, quick. Martha says, "I told my brother the bed was on fire and the heater fell on the bed."

The Red Cross now will help the family, left homeless, from this fire. Officials say the cause of the fire is due to that space heater, Martha saw falling on the bed and have ruled it as an accident. For the time being the family is staying at an area hotel.

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