A Pleasantville family who lost their home to a fire is glad at least that everyone is safe.
“We’re holding up,” said Amanda Naylor in a phone call from Temple University Hospital, where her husband is still recovering from smoke inhalation and eye damage.
A GoFundMe page was set up by their daughter Tatiana Morales.
Jose Morales, 39, is doing better, Naylor said. Their 5-year-old son, Bubba, has been released from the hospital.
Going by the home was “devastating,” Naylor said.
“I went inside through the back. There’s nothing salvageable. It’s all burnt to pieces,” she said. “Everything in the house is just gone.”
Their three daughters, ages 18, 13 and 11, were already gone when the fire started.
Morales had taken his wife to work at Babies R Us at about 5:30 Tuesday and had gone back to bed when smoke and the sound of coughing woke him, Naylor said.
It was pitch black, he told Naylor. But he heard their 5-year-oid son coughing and screaming for help.
“He couldn’t see, so he was going by our son’s voice,” Naylor said.
Once he got to the back room, he started feeling around for the boy. He grabbed him, then tried to head downstairs.
But the flames were too close, so Morales went back up and took the air conditioning unit out of the window and got onto the porch roof, screaming for help.
Bryan Dennis and Bonita Edwards normally wouldn’t have been driving that way. Edwards said she was going to the doctor, but there was a detour that brought her and her fiance by Linden Avenue.
Normally, Dennis doesn’t come with her. This time, he was there.
Edwards saw the smoke, and then the father and son.
“I need you to catch my son,” Morales yelled.
He tossed the boy to Dennis, who handed him to Edwards.
“You have to jump,” Dennis then told Morales.
“You could see the fire just growing,” Edwards said.
Morales jumped just in time. A moment later, “the whole front part came up in flames,” Edwards said.
Morales landed with one foot in a trash can, he told his wife. There were no broken bones, just some swelling where he previously had surgery for a torn ACL.
The boy didn’t know his sisters had already gone to school.
“He said, ‘Everybody in my household’s dead,’” Edwards recalled. “It just breaks your heart to hear a child say that.”
But luckily, they all survived.
There has not yet been a cause for the fire released. But Naylor said it started somewhere on the first floor. The flames didn’t rise to the second floor until Morales and Bubba has already gotten out.
Naylor was at work and didn’t find out until she took a break.
When she saw her son for the first time, he told her “he thought he was going to die,” she said, crying.
“For him so young to have that in his head. It’s a lot for him,” she said of the kindergartener.
The children haven’t gone back to school yet, but are expected to return Monday. There will be a counselor for Bubba.
Right now, the four siblings are staying between their father’s family and their godmother, while their mom stays with Morales.
“He’s getting better,” she said of her partner for nearly 20 years. “It’s just going to take time.”
Edwards is just glad Tuesday’s detour led them to the father and son.
“Everything happens for a reason, and thank God that did happen,” she said. “If we never came past who knows how bad that situation would have been.”