House fire torches everything for Harris County family - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

House fire torches everything for Harris County family

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ELLERSLIE, GA (WTVM) -

"It's hard. Very hard," Jennifer Blanton shared only that when asked how she and her family were coping.

Not much is left of her home in Ellerslie. Blanton says she woke up to go to the bathroom when she smelled something strange. She went to check it out and tells us flames and smoke quickly took over the house.

"It happens very, very fast," she explained. "Very fast. And your mind is not where it needs to be at that moment."

She had her fiancee, five children and four pets to try and get out of the home safely.

All seven people inside this home did get out safely. They recommend, in case of an emergency, you do have a preventative plan.

"How would they get out?" asked Dr. Z Allen Abbott, with the West Central Georgia Chapter of the American Red Cross. "Where are the windows for egress? Where are the doors? Are they appropriately accessible."

All questions the American Red Cross recommends families ask when putting together their emergency disaster plan. The West Central Georgia Chapter helps families prepare and recover from disasters like Blanton's.

"We immediately respond," said Abbott. "We help assess what is the situation. How many people were affected and to what extent? We seek to offer food, clothing, shelter."

As Blanton and her family took in the destruction of their home, the teacher shares the lesson she says the fire taught her.

She adds "definitely have a plan with your family and to have a meeting point with your family."

When I spoke to the family earlier, all they were able to save were the clothes on their backs, some pictures of the children and some of the kid's outside toys. A bank account to help with the family's relief efforts has been set up.

That information is at this link under the Quick Links tab.

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