Neighbors act quickly to help children in Raleigh house fire
Posted January 21, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — Shawanda Valdivia was at work when she received a devastating call at about 5 p.m.
Her Piedmont Drive home was on fire – with five of her children inside.
“I couldn’t breathe,” she said.
The fire started in the kitchen when an unattended pan on the stove caught fire.
“I heard the first two fire trucks come down the road, stepped outside and you can see through the side window that the kitchen was pretty engulfed in flames,” said Brian Zuctari, a neighbor.
Valdivia’s five children were able to quickly escape, but only with what they were wearing.
“They didn't have shoes on, coats or jackets or anything,” said Stephanie English, a neighbor. “We brought them over to the house and we gave them shoes, clothes, everybody, you know to keep everybody warm.”
Valdivia said she was appreciative of her neighbors’ efforts.
“I don't care about that material stuff, that comes and goes,” she said. “But my babies lives, don't.”
Along with Valdivia and her five children, three other adults live in the home.
The American Red Cross is helping the family with temporary lodging.