Christine Griffin got home from work, got her kids ready for school, and went to bed. Moments later, the Ocean Springs resident heard some yelling. "It was very scary," Griffin said. "Like I said, I thought I was dreaming. I just couldn't imagine what was going on."
Griffin didn't know that a fire was eating its way through her garage. Eleven year old daughter Kiarra was at the bus stop when a friend noticed the flames. "The garage was smoking," Kiarra Griffin said, "and I was like just scared."
Kiarra and her four classmates rushed back to her house. "I didn't know what happened," Kiarra said. "I'm like okay now what could happen. And we just ran down there." The kids banged on the door and screamed at Mrs. Griffin to get up and get out before the fire spread. Mrs Griffin heard the screams. "When I got to the door, they were just pulling me out," she said. "And I looked over and I just seen flames going up."
The flames shot through the garage and spread through the attic. When they jumped out to the family car, it exploded. Smoke did damage to the Griffins interior walls. But Mrs. Griffin wasn't worried about that. "No I'm just glad I got out of here," she said, standing in her smokey living room. "That's all I'm concerned about. This can be replaced. This is material. So I'm just glad I got out."
An Ocean Springs fireman called the kids heroes. Kiarra wasn't sure about that. "I really don't know what it feels like to be a hero. So I guess so. I really don't know."
Mom did know. Her daughter and her four young neighbors may have saved her life. "I'm just grateful for the kids," Christine Griffin said. "It was a blessing for them to wake me up, because I'm a hard sleeper. It usually takes a lot to wake me up."
The five kids who helped rescue Mrs. Griffin were her daughter Kiarra, and neighbors Katherine Schmidt, Rochelle Lewis, Patrick Holmes, and Lauren Bohn.
Ocean Springs investigators still aren't sure how the 7:45 a.m. fire started.