• Parents held children out window to breathe during fire

    By: Catherine Bilkey


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A mother held her children out a second-story bathroom window so they could breathe as their home went up in flames. Firefighters rushed to the scene and saved the four people inside the home.

    “You could feel the heat from the fire on the bathroom floor,” Veola Jackson said.

    Jackson told Channel 9 when a fire alarm went off in her home on Astoria Drive she tried to put the fire out herself--but quickly realized that wasn’t going to happen. She grabbed her 7 and 9-year-old sons and put them in the upstairs bathroom with her husband as the flames grew.

    “We were hanging the kids out the window so they could breathe,” Jackson said.

    Jackson says her husband was so worried about the kids that he didn’t get much air.

    “He has asthma, and he inhaled a lot more smoke then we did because he let us hang out the window more,” Jackson said.

    Meanwhile, Jackson was on the phone with 911 and soon Charlotte firefighters came to the rescue.

    “I remember hearing them call us but you couldn’t see anything,” Jackson said.

    They were rescued by 30 firefighters who put the fire out in less than 15 minutes. 

    “I got taken out through the window,” Jackson said.

    All four family members were taken from the home to the hospital. Jackson said her three daughters luckily weren’t home, but in the chaos, they lost their family pet.

    “We got a note on the door from animal control that they had her, and she didn’t make it,” Jackson said.

    Still Jackson remains positive.

    “All of this can be replaced,” Jackson said about the damage. “But I can’t replace my kids or my husband.”

    Jackson also wanted to thank the 911 dispatcher who kept her calm. Red Cross is helping the family with a place to stay Saturday night. Firefighters say an unattended candle caused the fire.

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