BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — After a mobile home fire on Christmas Eve left one person dead and another suffering smoke inhalation, residents near the fire, are trying to figure out how to heal.
Including a resident of the community, Kathy, who heard her neighbor call for help that evening at around 5:17 p.m. in the 6000 block of East Brundage Lane and ran to help him with a water hose to put out the fire.
“The water hoses were doing no good. Everybody was grabbing their water hoses, but you know you can’t fight a raging fire. We found that out,” said Kathy.
Kathy shares that the couple, who lived in the home, lived doors down from her for over 17 years. She felt it was only right to help.
“I asked Steve, the owner, where his wife was. She was inside, and she’s an invalid, and we both looked at each other we were afraid, we were afraid for Genie […] Five hours the firemen were here for five hours until they got the last flames out, they found Genie, and she had passed,” said Kathy.
Now Kathy and other residents are ensuring their homes are prepared in case of a fire.
“I’ve never seen a fire like this, but boy, I checked my fire extinguishers this morning to make sure they still work, and I love candles, but I won’t be burning anymore candles because these coaches, these walls are paper thin and they’re like matchboxes,” said Kathy.
However, she hopes this experience will bring the community closer.
“I think this will even bring us closer together. We were all people who hadn’t said hi to each other in a long time. You know we’re all concerned and feel horrible for Steve and his family,” said Kathy.
According to the Red Cross, the best way to protect yourself from a fire is to install smoke alarms on every level of your home, test the smoke alarms every month to make sure they are working properly, and if a fire occurs in your home, get out, stay out and call for help.