CENTRALIA, Wash. — A family is recovering at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center after rushing back into their burning house to save two young boys.
Fire officials said the home in Centralia burst into flames overnight sending the family of five to area hospitals.
“It’s a miracle,” said Riverside Fire Authority Assistant Chief Rick Mack.
He said it’s incredible that none of the five family members inside the home on South Oak Street was killed when it burst into flames. He added that the structure is too unstable for crews to even go inside, to try and figure out how it started.
“It’s not safe to be in there, that’s why we’re not able to get in to see what caused the fire,” he said.
Fire officials said the parents and a teenager may have escaped the burning home unharmed, but likely got hurt when they rushed back in to save two young boys under the age of 10, Mack said.
The parents and eldest child were airlifted to Harborview in Seattle where they are listed in serious condition in intensive care – the young boys were rushed to a local hospital.
Investigators are waiting for the family to recover before they ask what happened.
“How were you heating the home? What was going on in the home before the fire? That will help us paint that picture,” said Mack.
“It’s unbelievable,” said family friend Tara Marsh.
She said the youngest victims are doing surprisingly well.
“One of them has some burns on his arm and his face. They’re OK, they’re doing good. They’re up walking around,” she added.
Other friends still can’t believe it.
“Oh my gosh, it’s gone,” said Amber Morrow when she saw the burned-out shell. “Hearing they’re in Harborview, I’m heartsick.”
Another home right next door was also damaged; it’s been red-tagged because it’s too dangerous to live in.
It’s been less than a year after another fire in Centralia killed three young children.
Neighbors and firefighters are grateful everyone made it out alive Wednesday morning.
“It’s a miracle,” said Mack. “I think about the Tower family every day. The last thing we want is another tragedy like that.”
“I’m just glad they’re safe,” said Marsh.
Firefighters returned to the home Wednesday afternoon to douse hot spots.
A man forced out of his home by this fire said the family is doing OK, they are in good spirits and they’re asking for prayers as a show of support.