Mom speaks out after rescuing her 10 children from house fire

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Harris family home on Capwood Drive in southeast Montgomery is only a shell of what it used to look like. Their belongings are piled up in the front yard, the fire burned everything inside.

"Everything was ablaze," said a tired Joanna Harris.

But the fire did not touch Harris and her 10 children, ranging from 16 years old to a one year old.

Bryan: "What got you through?"

"God," said Harris.

Overcome with emotions Harris realized just how different this story could have turned out. Everybody made it out alive, no one got hurt, although Ms. Harris was taken to the hospital for observation since she is pregnant with her 11th child. The unborn child is okay.

Harris says it happened right after she had given baths to two of her children.

"I was on the way to get my bath and I heard the kids screaming," she said.

That's when Joanna rushed out of her bathroom and noticed nothing but flames. Harris had two options; panic or keep her cool. She chose the latter.

"I was just trying to save the kids. They were hysterical and crying but I just kept my faith in God," Harris said.

It took firefighters about 20 minutes to bring the blaze under control. This appears to have been an accidental fire, possibly electrical in one of the bedrooms.

It wasn't until everybody had gathered in the front yard when Harris realized everybody was safe. That's when the reality of what happened hit home.

A neighbor next door called 911. Harris says the local Red Cross is working with the family in getting them food, clothing and temporary shelter.

For now the family is still in shock but grateful in this season of thanks, despite losing just about everything they owned.

"You gotta keep faith in God. He is the only way out. God was in this plan," said grandmother Lillie Harris.

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