Mother killed in Bakersfield house fire

Kristina Stratton is seen in a Facebook photo used with permission from family spokesman Pastor Angelo Frazier. Stratton died Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, in a house fire.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) – A woman was killed and her four children suffered smoke inhalation in an overnight fire.

A family spokesman, Pastor Angelo Frazier of RiverLakes Community Church, identified the woman as Kristina Stratton. The others range in age from 7 to 18, according to Frazier.

Frazier said the mother died trying to save her children.

He called her a “bigger than life person.”

“She loved God, loved her family, loved her kids, loved life, and she loved being here in Bakersfield,” the pastor said.

Firefighters were called shortly before midnight to the house on Cave Avenue, near Calloway Drive and Meacham Road.

Kern County Fire Department Engineer Andrew Freeborn said early Friday that firefighters knew someone was still inside when they arrived. The children apparently had evacuated by that time.

“When firefighters respond to this type of call, it is not an easy call. The priority absolutely is for that potential rescue,” he said.

Freeborn said the cause of the fire is under investigation.

The interim fire chief, David Witt, on Friday said via a Facebook post that this tragic event should make people “sit up and take notice,” and he urged people to be vigilant and prepare for house fires.

He said the “pillars of being fire safe” are:

  • Have an escape plan.
  • Have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Call 911 in an emergency.
  • In the event of a fire, close doors to slow the spread.
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