The mother of five was a widow after her husband died four years ago of cancer. She was loved by everyone for her joy of life.
Parents can do anything for their children's safety, no matter how old the child is. The love mothers have runs so deep that they'd be willing to risk themselves and if needed, perish just so their child is safe. A single mother in California's Bakersfield recently brought tears to many people's eyes when she lost her life in an attempt to save her children.
Kristina Stratton, 38, was a widow and a mother of five children. Four of her children were inside her house when a fire occurred. Kristina and one of her daughters had gone out when it happened, according to WFLA. The four kids were sleeping upstairs unaware of the fire and the mother knew she had to do something to save her kids.
She showed the kind of bravery only a mother can. She did not care for her safety and just ran into the blazing house where the children were trapped on the second floor, Angelo Frazier, pastor and family friend told CNN.
Her children, between the ages of 7 to 18, escaped the fire after breaking a window on the second and jumping out. One of them woke up and realized that she could neither go downstairs to her mother nor breathe. All four of them suffered minor to moderate smoke inhalation, according to the Kern County Fire Department.
The mother wasn't so lucky. They found her dead inside the family home when they went for their rescue operation.
“My sister just did what any mom would do, protecting her children. She’s my hero. I hope I could be half the woman she is,” Stratton’s sister, Sarah Parks, was quoted as saying by WFLA.
Her children are left orphaned now since their father died of cancer four years ago. At least, they have their aunt and her husband, who will be their legal guardians. While their aunt may not be able to take the place of her mother, the children will have a home to live in together.
"There are a lot of questions now that both mom and dad have passed and how that's going to look in the next weeks and months and years," Frazier said. “She had a lot of people who loved her,” Frazier added. “She loved her kids, her family, God. She loved life. She was just that kind of person.”
"It's just unspeakable heartbreak to have to do something like that when you lose a loved one, so you can just imagine the raw emotions that are there," Frazier told 23ABC News Bakersfield.
The members of the community have come together to help the family in whatever way possible. They have gone through what remained of the house and have set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the family. Meanwhile, North Bakersfield Toyota is hosting a donation drop-off for the family.
The fire department is conducting its investigation over the cause of the fire. Interim fire Chief David Witt urged people to be careful and take precautions. "As your Kern County Interim Fire Chief, I never want to wake up in the middle of the night to hear about someone dying because of a fire," the statement read. "The tragic events of last night make our community sit up and take notice."
The mother's daring rescue attempt may have ended in her demise but her children are fine. She would be smiling down at them from above knowing that she saved them.