A family has been forced to leave their home just days before Christmas. Investigators say a young girl was playing with matches Monday morning in the house near Pine Street and Mingo Road, and the house caught fire.
FOX23 spoke exclusively with the family after the smoke cleared. They say they're still counting their blessings.
"I'm not going to put my head down and I'm not going to fall all apart behind this," said resident Cheryl Wilson. "I'm just going to strive, keep my strength and move forward."
Wilson lost a lot, but not her hope. She left for work around 8 a.m., and said it all happened just minutes later.
"My 15-year-old called crying and everything and was telling me I need to get back to the house because my home was on fire," said Wilson.
When crews arrived, they found heavy smoke and flames billowing from the front of the house. Investigators say the cause was Wilson's 6-year-old granddaughter playing with matches, which set a room a fire.
"At that point, she got scared and went and hid in the bathroom," said Wilson.
The two young ladies who were also in the house heard the smoke detector going off, and they came out and saw the fire. They searched for the little girl, found her and got her out
Firemen say those girls probably saved her life.
"My daughter's name is Blessing and I'm just blessed, OK? I am really blessed today," said Wilson.
We watched crews dump their property through burned-out windows. But some things they say withstood the inferno.
She says she doesn't care about the material things. This year she's learning to appreciate the reason for the season more than ever before.
"And just thanking God that I'm going to have my family for Christmas and that's what important," said Wilson.