Fire leaves family of ten homeless - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Fire leaves family of ten homeless

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May 22, 2007

Albany -- A family of ten lost their home and most everything they own Tuesday afternoon. Fire broke out in their home on East Highland Avenue in East Albany about 4:30.

News 10 was there as firefighters battled the flames and spoke to one of the victims and several good Samaritans who made sure the family escaped the burning house.

As firefighters extinguished the flames burning Katrina Sapp's two-story home, she watched on in disbelief. "I'm just so happy that I got my children although I lost everything," she says.

Sapp and seven of her children were home when they heard a loud explosion from outside. "I ran outside to see what was going on. I saw fire coming from the side of my house," she says.

Several power lines lay on top of her garage. Fire quickly destroyed that garage and the car inside. "The whole car porch it was just under fire. The whole top house was going under fire," she says.

The fire quickly spread from the garage to the top of her house. "It was just fire everywhere," she says.

The 32-year-old mother of eight quickly got her children out the house-- all except for one.

"They were horrified. It was fully engulfed in flames," says Thomas Childers.

Thomas Childers and co-worker, Carl Taylor, were on their way home when they noticed the fire. Childers' first reaction: "Dial 911," says Childers.

Sapp pleaded to Taylor to save her son who remained upstairs in the bathtub. "I told him my baby was in there," says Sapp.

"When I bust in their I scared him, so I just grabbed him and came on out," says Carl Taylor.

The 27-year-old eventually fought his way back downstairs through a haze of smoke. "I seen smoke everywhere," says Taylor.

But he never hesitated going inside the burning home. "It was second nature I guess," says Taylor.

And for that Sapp and her children are grateful. "I thank them a lot for going inside and saving my babies," says Sapp.

The cause of the fire remains unknown. Investigators with the fire department plan to return to the house early tomorrow morning to figure out what caused the fire.

Sapp along with her husband and eight children plan to stay with family. The Red Cross is also providing the family with food and clothing.

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