BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (WSVN) — A mother of five made a heroic sacrifice after she lost her life while trying to save her children in a house fire.
According to CNN, 38-year-old Kristina Stratton was outside her home with her daughter when their two-story home caught fire.
Pastor and family friend Angelo Frazier said Stratton rushed into her burning home to rescue four of her kids, who were trapped on the second level.
Stratton’s children were eventually able to escape the fire by climbing out a window, but Stratton herself did not make it out alive. Firefighters found her dead inside the house during the rescue operation.
Stratton’s five children have now been left without their mother. However, this is not the first time the family has experienced tragedy. Four years ago, Stratton’s husband and the father of four of her kids died from cancer.
“There are a lot of questions now that both mom and dad have passed and how that’s going to look in the next weeks and months and years,” Frazier said.
Friends and family have spent the last few days sorting through what’s left of the home.
“It’s just unspeakable heartbreak to have to do something like that when you lose a loved one, so you can just imagine the raw emotions that are there,” Frazier told KERO.
The community has since come together to help raise money for Stratton’s children. A GoFundMe page has been set up for the children and their legal guardian, and an area Toyota dealership is collecting clothing, shoes, gift cards and supplies for the family.
It remains unclear what was behind the fire. The cause is being investigated.