INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Nine kids were trapped inside their Independence home as fire engulfed their bedrooms Saturday. Then one family member risked it all to save them.
Now, the family is hailing that dad as a hero.
Several people were injured in the blaze. On Monday, one of those kids remains in critical condition and another is stable. The family member who saved them, Curtis Jewett, finally woke up Monday and is breathing on his own.
But it’s the moment he brought the kids out of the burning house that has two moms grateful for his sacrifices.
“He ran in there and grabbed Philip, which is my baby, and he was on fire. He handed my Philip, and I’m patting Philip down,” mom Stormy Farmer said.
“He ran into the fire and went and saved the babies that were in the actual fire,” she added.
The fire started after what family said was a tablet that caught fire in one of the kid’s rooms. Large flames quickly overtook the house inside. Fire crews were quickly called to the home.
But Curtis Jewett risked his own life so that those nine kids could live. His mission was successful with all the children making it out alive.
“He’s suffered burns and smoke inhalation from doing it, and even after getting burned, he was still trying to put the house out,” said mom Kristina Jewett, who lost her home in the fire.
“These babies wouldn’t be here if he didn’t do that. None of them,” she added.
The house on the outside is still intact, but everything on the inside is gone. The only things that remain are toys left in the grass, shoes that fell off while the families escaped, and their lives, which they’re the most grateful to still have.
“In spite of this, we have our families that we have to keep going for, and we can only push forward,” Farmer said.
Now they’re rebuilding, trying to move on and slowly pick up the pieces of what they have left. But these moms know they need some help.
“Finding quick replacement … it’s more or less, especially for when she finally gets out because they’ve got a road to recovery still. And then obviously, just the things that the kids need,” Kristina Jewett said.
Organizations like the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army are helping, but there’s also a GoFundMe page set up to help them.