“I thought I was in a movie”: Woodstock mother escapes house fire with five children


A mother and her five children are staying at a hotel after a fire forced them to leave their home in Woodstock.

The teams were called to the Thompson Street property on Saturday around 7:15 p.m.

“Upon arrival, the firefighters encountered thick smoke and a fire inside the basement of the structure,” said Lukasz Kasprzyk, fire prevention officer with the Woodstock Fire Department.

The flames eventually got inside the walls, forcing firefighters to back down as they feared the first floor would collapse.

The crews were forced to tear down an exterior wall in order to contain the “very stubborn fire” from the exterior. They finally put out the flames around 1:30 a.m.

Everyone who lived in the house came out unharmed and no injuries were reported.

The cause is still being determined, but it is not considered suspicious.

Inspectors estimate the damage to be around $ 500,000.

The first floor has partially collapsed, but further examination is needed to see if the house can be salvaged or will need to be demolished.

“The damage to the upper levels is minimal,” Kasprzyk said. “The majority of the structure is compromised in the basement and on the first floor. “

“The smoke came out about ten feet from the door and then blew out,” neighbor William Johnson said.

Andrea Arango and her five children rent the house. They are now staying in a hotel until they can work out the next steps with their owner.

“I was in shock,” she said. “Words can’t describe. I thought I was in a movie.”

Arango said she received an alert on her phone from her smoke detector and then noticed smoke coming from the basement.

“My daughter said ‘It’s on fire’, then my oldest grabbed the little one and ran out, and everyone ran away.”

Arango said his family lost many essentials.

“Sure, my kids need clothes, they need jackets, they need shoes. They don’t have anything right now.”

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