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Apex Woman, Children Spend Holidays In Hotel After Fire Destroys Home

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APEX, N.C. — Christmas will not be as merry for one family in Wake County. A fire has destroyed their Apex home.

Fire struck a home on Craig Drive in Apex, near Holly Springs, early Tuesday morning.

Crystal Mitchell, who was in the house at the time, said her brother saved her life.

"He was like: 'The house is on fire,'" she said. "'The house is on fire. We got to get out. We got to get out.'"

Luckily for the family, Mitchell's three children -- 12-year-old Christina, 6-year-old Darian and 4-year-old Zaporia -- were staying with their grandmother at the time of the fire.

Before she was driven out by the smoke and flames, Mitchell did salvage something - three bikes, which were presents for her kids.

"I was scared," she said. "I didn't know if I should go back in there, but I had to think about my kids because that's what they wanted for Christmas - the bikes."

Crews from three local fire stations were dispatched to stop the blaze.

Officials said the home is a total loss. Now, Mitchell said that almost everything they own - their toys, their books and their clothes - are gone.

"It's really not Christmas to me now that this has happened," Mitchell said. "But I'm trying to be happy for the kids because it's Christmas. [I'm] just trying to hang in there."

Investigators suspect something electrical in the front bedroom, possibly a heater, started the fire.

The Red Cross is helping the family with shelter and food.

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