Coquita Ducksworth and Latonya Pruitt (Photo source: WLOX News)
The home the 5 children live in. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Fire officials say the fire was contained to one room. (Photo source: WLOX News)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -
A family of five siblings survived an overnight house fire in Biloxi, and one woman's quick actions may be to thank. Latonya Pruitt came down from Laurel to watch her best friend's five grandchildren while she was away. It was late in the evening on Ridgeway Drive and Pruitt was getting the children ready for bed. That's when the smoke alarm went off.
"They are young, but they know that that sound means to go tell somebody," said Pruitt about the children who range in age from two months all the way to eight-years-old.
They let Pruitt know and she quickly found that the fire was behind a closed door down the hall.
She remembered the harrowing moments that followed when she only had one mission.
"The babies. The babies, got to get them out," she said.
If you ask Pruitt, she doesn't consider herself a hero. She said she was simply doing what had to be done. And she said she couldn't have done it by herself.
"Thank God that he gave me the strength to get them out of there and he was watching over us," said Pruitt.
Pruitt said the fire department was on the scene in minutes. Her friend, Coquita Ducksworth, raced home to find the dramatic scene unfolding.
"I know there's a God and I know that he was here," said Ducksworth.
The scene quickly drew the attention of neighbors like Shannan Williams.
"Emotions were just overwhelming, you know? Just to think of just in an instant what can happen," said Williams. Williams ran to the burning house to make sure the children were ok while her kids, Macy and Austin Kiel, were back home safe in bed.
"My friends are ok and that's why I'm really happy," said Macy.
Macy remembered her mom recalling the night's events, including something remarkable. She said help came from all around to make sure the family would be ok.
"Everybody in the neighborhood gave food, clothes. I'm just going to say, thank you. You're helping out around our community and you're helping out with my friend," said Macy.
The Biloxi Fire Department said the fire was mostly contained to one room. The cause of the blaze is still being investigated.