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Neighbors answer Cricket family’s cries for help; children beg to escape from burning house

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CRICKET, N.C. -- A family of five in Wilkes County made a narrow escape from a raging house fire Tuesday morning.

The family was trapped on the roof by the flames and the family has its neighbors to thank for the rescue.

“We were trying to get the little girls to jump because there were flames starting to come up out of the top of the house and you couldn't see anything-- it was just black smoke,” said Anne Behr, who lives next door to the family. “It was horrible hearing their screams, begging for someone to help them get off of that roof.”

Behr said two neighbors from across the street brought ladders to the home and it helped two little girls and two adults get down safely. Another man was burned and was sent to the hospital with a back injury after jumping from the roof.

The family spent most of the day next door at Behr’s staying warm and talking about all they lost. Those losses include clothes, Christmas gifts, cell phones and even car keys to the family’s main vehicle.

“What I went through was horrible but it's not half of what that family went through I can't even imagine how those people feel,” Behr said.

Behr said friends are trying to collect donations to help the family.

“They're good people-- nice little girls and now they need everything for school,” said Behr.

Behr said watching the family come together in the hours after the fire was touching.

“Their mom is a very strong lady,” said Behr. “She kept telling her girls about how lucky they were -- that everything can be replaced but their lives cannot.”

The Wilkes Journal-Patriot reported the fire department believes a space heater caused the fire.