• Woman seriously burned saving grandchildren from Caldwell County house fire

    By: Dave Faherty

    Updated:

    HUDSON, N.C. - A woman received second-degree burns to her arms and legs after rescuing her two grandchildren from a house fire Saturday in Caldwell County.

    Investigators believe the quick-moving fire that heavily damaged the home of Steve and Julie Coots in Hudson started when a spray-paint can near a recliner was accidentally punctured, igniting gas logs nearby.

    Neighbor Wanda Benge told Channel 9 she saw the flames shoot though the roof and saw the burn injuries to the grandmother.

     “Her babies come first, her grandbabies,” Benge said. “She just picked them up, didn’t care where she got burnt. She got burnt pretty bad.”

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    Since the fire, local churches and a pizza restaurant have tried to help the family by collecting donations. 

    Julie Coots is recovering at Baptist Hospital, while the children were not seriously injured.  

    “Could we put something together and try to give back to them because they’ve lost everything,” said Ashley Eltelbanty, with Roma Pizza. “So we decided to put 10 percent of our sales together and donate it back to the community.”

    Julie Coots’ husband, Pastor Steve Coots, was not home when the fire broke out because he was helping neighbors clear trees from the ice storm last weekend. 

    “He was busy helping the community,” friend George Clarke said. “Just pray for him and his family, especially the wife. She’s a real special lady, too.”

    The family is also giving thanks to the Red Cross tonight who helped them in the hours after the fire.

    The fire chief said the fire did so much damage they can no longer live there.

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