Lake Wales family escapes house fire

Posted at 10:27 PM, May 28, 2016

A Lake Wales family is thankful to be alive after a fire gutted their home. But the disabled homeowner, her daughter and three grandchildren, aren't sure what's next for them. The good news is that the actions of a seven-year-old girl in the heat of the moment, brings a lesson for all families.

Cheri Money and her daughter were inside their living room Friday night, when they smelled something burning.

"Just black smoke everywhere. We don't know what happened," said Money.
Her daughter went to check it out.

"When I first came into the kitchen through the hallway, this was engulfed in flames and so was the window.  I couldn't even see out. I was looking for the children because they were just eating, and I didn't see them.  It scared me. So I grabbed mom and the infant and ran out the front door and circled around back," said Money's daughter, Tabatha Luna.

Her smart, brave little seven-year-old, Hailey, knew just what to do because the family has practiced fire drills for years.

"I saw the fire and I ran all the way to the fence, I was like this, and I go to the fence as fast as I could," Hailey said.

Her mom and grandma know little Hailey saved her two-year-old sister Amy's life.

"Thank God my kids are alive. And that we made it out," Luna said.

But looking at what's left of their home, is devastating.

"It's hard when you look around and see everything you've ever known is gone," Luna said.

The roof is falling apart. The kitchen is gutted. A bedroom and bathroom are badly damaged. The house is now condemned, until repairs can be made.

But for Cheri, who is on disability and has no home insurance, finding a way to fix all the problems seems impossible.

"I feel like I've been so beat down. I can't take no more. I don't know what to do," said Money.

But they're thankful for help from the Red Cross to get them by for now and are trying to keep the faith going forward.

"I just pray and pray for help," Money said.