BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — As a deadly fire ravaged through her home last night, Kristina Stratton made the ultimate sacrifice and saved her four children.
Tonight, her family is opening up about how Stratton died a hero.
"It sucks, but we have to be strong for the kids. Three of them don't have no parents and the other ones have their dad that lives out of state,” said Sarah Parks, Stratton’s sister.
Parks says the day has been difficult, but that the outpouring of the local community has given her family strength.
Among other things, a GoFundMe page has been set up and the family's church, RiverLakes Community, is accepting donations on the family's behalf.
"Bakersfield Toyota, I think they said they can drop off stuff there. So, I'm sure that they'll take donations. I know Banacek's is taking donations, Banacek's on State Road. The owner, Melissa, is a good friend of ours. She's, I think, I've been hearing they're doing something, too,” Parks said.
But Parks says, right now, her family's biggest focus remains on her sister's children and making sure that they have as much love and support as humanly possible.
"I'm going to go, and me and my husband are going to file to become their legal guardians and take over. And they're going to live with us, all five of them, with our, with our other children,” she said.
And to everyone who has reached out and offered help to her family, Parks only has one thing to say.
"Thank you to everybody,” Parks said, breaking into tears. “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."
The family's GoFundMe page can be found here.