Child saves family from Gladewater fire

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - By Bob Hallmark - bio | email

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - An east Texas family lost everything in a house fire, and say they are still alive thanks to a quick thinking 4-year-old.

It happened Thursday morning at a Gladewater home in the 400 block of Eleanor Street. The flames tore through the house destroying every inch of the place Latisha Hambrick and her children called home.

"When I got up it was so much black smoke and I just screamed. I had to actually get on the floor and crawl because the smoke was so heavy. It was red everything just went up," said Hambrick.

Latisha was sound asleep when the fire began, not waking until her 4-year-old son, Semadre, awoke her to a house consumed in flames. The blaze filled the home with thick black smoke every second robbing the family of time to escape.

"I mean it was just so quick," she says.

But Semadre's reaction was quicker, and gave his mother and siblings the time they needed.

"I am like I can't believe it. It was that quick. So intense. If I had never heard him cry or cough, I don't know," Latisha said.

The child's awareness is more extraordinary. Semadre is autistic, but showed his mother something was wrong.

"With those children they all have their special way of showing something and with him it's his emotions," she said.

"He's a hand full and that's really awesome that he was able to wake them up," said sister-in-law Chere Kabeta.

Rather than being heartbroken for their loss, Hambrick is joyful for what she has left.

"My kids, and that I'm here to see another day period," Latisha said.

If you would like to help the Hambrick family a relief fund will be set up at South Side Bank in Longview starting Monday.

Copyright 2010 KLTV. All rights reserved.