Child credited with saving Henderson family from fire
Posted December 19, 2011
Henderson, N.C. — Jessica Morgan credits her 5-year-old daughter, Gabriella, for saving the family from a fire that broke out in their Henderson home early Sunday.
"Gabi said the Christmas tree was on fire, and she tried to get her stocking, but she couldn't get it," Morgan said Monday of the fire that destroyed the house at 115 Satterwhite Point Lane.
The child then went to wake up her 3-year-old brother, then Morgan and fiance Scott Weaver.
"I knew we were trapped in that room. I said, 'Lord Jesus, we're going to get out of here," Morgan said.
Morgan said she and Weaver soon figured out a way to escape.
"I just struggled as fast as I could and got both the windows up and out the window," Morgan said. "He handed me the kids."
Weaver stayed behind to rescue the family's new puppy and older dog but was overcome by the smoke. The dogs died in the fire.
Weaver was in a medically induced coma at Duke University Hospital on Monday
"I just want everyone to pray for him because I love him and he's a big part of saving our lives too," Morgan said.
A firefighter battling the blaze suffered second-degree burns to his face and was taken to the Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill.
Vance County fire officials said the origin of the fire was the Christmas tree in the living room, but they were unable to determine what caused the tree to catch fire.
"The outlet where the Christmas tree was was not working, so they had a drop cord from the Christmas tree to another outlet in the house," Fire Marshal and EMS Chief Harold Henrich said.
The family lost everything in the fire.
"I'm strong. I've got two kids that depend on me, and they need me, that's the most important part," Morgan said.
The American Red Cross has helped the family find temporary housing.
A friend is helping collect donations of Christmas gifts and clothing for the family.
Donations should be brought to:
Rose Oil Co.
613 Hwy 158 W. Bypass (near Maria Parham Hospital)
Henderson, NC 27536
(Morgan wears women's size small shirts and size 5 pants. Gabriella wears size 5T and her brother wears size 4T.)
Monetary donations can be sent to:
407 S. Chestnut St.
Henderson, NC 27536