‘I had to get my kids out’: Graham mother saves children from house fire; family pets killed

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GRAHAM, N.C. -- An Alamance County mother and her three children have been left with just the clothes on their backs after a house fire destroyed everything and killed their six pets.

Friday evening, an electrical fire sparked at Melissa Gulley’s parents' house on Perry Street in Graham.

Gulley was in the living with her 1-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son at the time of the fire.

“I went to put my daughter down to sleep,” Gulley said. “I came back into the living room and I really noticed it and started panicking. It had hit the chair where I was sitting at.”

Flames had begun to shoot out of the kitchen area and had started to spread up the walls.

Gulley said she tried to put the fire out with a fire extinguisher “but it didn’t work.”

She grabbed her son and her daughter and ran into the bathroom. She slid open the window and the three of them crawled onto the A/C unit below.

“I scratched myself on the glass getting out,” she said.

Gulley called 911 and then went around to the front off the house. She grabbed a water hose to try and fight the flames and rescue her six family pets trapped inside.

When the 29-year old mother opened the front door, the flames exploded to consume the whole house.

All six family pets were killed.

“I’m just thankful that my 10-year old daughter wasn’t there too,” she said.

She, her children, and her mother Sandra and father Bill, who lived at the house, lost everything.

“My daughter starts school later this month and has nothing.” School supplies, school clothes, “nothing.”

Donations are being collected at the Alamance County Planning Office at 201 W. Elm St. in Graham during regular business hours. Their number is (336) 570-4085

Information for donations

Zakyla (15 months old): 12-18 month clothing, size 5 shoes, diapers 4&6, pull-ups 4t-5t

Braylan (4 years old): 5t and size 11 to 12 shoes

Kaylea (10 years old): 16 pants, large to XL shirts, shoes 7, size 6 boy short underwear

Sandra: 16 girls pants and shirts large junior, size 7½ to 8 shoes

Bill: XL shirts, 36/32 pants, boxer briefs size 34

Melissa: 20 pants, 2X shirts, 2X boy shorts underwear, shoe size 7

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