Community comes together for Stratton kids


A Northwest Bakersfield is still devastated after a mother of five died trying to save her children from their burning home last Thursday night. 

Following the tragedy, as Kern County so often does, plenty of people didn’t think twice before coming together to help the kids. 

Multiple fundraisers are up and running around town, all trying to support the kids who lost everything. 

Kristina Stratton, widowed nearly five years ago, did what any other mother would’ve done last Thursday night. She ran inside her burning home to rescue her children.

Four of her five children were inside the home when the fire broke out. Family we spoke with say they believe the blaze was caused by an electrical fire that originated in Stratton’s room. However, authorities are still investigating. 

“Here is a person who loved live, loved God and loved her children enough to run into a burning building to save them,” said Angelo Frazier, family pastor.

The four kids made it out, their mother didn’t. 

“The kids seem to be doing well, at least physically, emotional scars and grief are going to be for the rest of their lives,” said Frazier.

Bakersfield isn’t leaving them alone though.

“It’s a hard thing to watch other families go through, so we just want to do everything we can,” said Tera Nelson, North Bakersfield Toyota communications manager.

The dealership is holding a donation drive for the kids. Three days in and they’ve almost filled up two trucks. Riverlakes Church is holding a clothing drive. In addition, we’ve located two gofundme pages for the family  totaling almost $50,000 raised 

“We love to see how Bakersfield, it’s a strong community, just comes together,” said Nelson.

Stratton’s sister tells us she is taking care of the kids and plans to legally adopt the three youngest ones. She says she’s very thankful for all the community support. 

A celebration of life service for her sister will be held this Saturday, February 16 at 10:00am at Riverlakes Church in the main auditorium.

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