A single mother of five died last week after rushing into her burning home in California, as she tried to save her children trapped on the second floor.
According to WFLA, Kristina Stratton was out with one of her daughters when her home caught fire, trapping her other four children, who were sleeping on the second floor of their home.
The 38-year-old mother rushing into the burning house trying to find her children, who range in age from seven to 18.
According to KERO-TV, the children managed to smash a window and jump from the top floor. All four escaped with minor injuries. Firefighters tried to rescue Stratton but the woman was found dead during the rescue effort.
Now, three of the children (who are minors) have been left orphans as Stratton’s husband died of cancer about four years ago.
“My sister just did what any mom would do, protecting her children. She’s my hero. I hope I could be half the woman she is,” Stratton’s sister, Sarah Parks, told the new station.
The blaze rattled the community.
“It is just unspeakable heartbreak to have to do something like that when you lose a loved one, so you can imagine the raw emotions that are there,” Pastor Angelo Frazier told KFSN News.
Parks said she plans to serve as legal guardians for the five children. The community has setup a GoFundMe page to assist the devastated family financially.
“The proceeds of this page will go to Sarah Parks who has legal guardianship of the kids. She said the money is going to cover the service/burial and to take care of the kids,” reads the fundraising page. “They are planning on adding bedrooms to their house to make more rooms for the kids. She also talked about setting up savings accounts for the 5 children to start saving for college.”
The page had a goal of $3,000. As of Monday afternoon people have raised over $34,000 for the family.