BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A 12-year-old girl is being called a hero after saving her parents and siblings from a Christmas morning fire.
The Griffin family’s house has been in the family for over 100 years. They said their propane heater fell over, setting the girl’s bed on fire.
Now, even though it didn’t survive, the family is relieved they did.
“We watched the house burn in a matter of minutes,” said homeowner Patrice Griffin.
Everywhere you look, there are reminders of what used to be scattered throughout the damage. Everything the Griffin family owns, including their car, has been destroyed.
“Flames started coming in,” said Patrice. “The roof set on fire. We had to just run out. We ran out with no clothes on.”
The Christmas morning fire melted their decorations and presents, but it brought this family closer together.
“It was the worst Christmas, but also the best Christmas because we are alive today,” said Jakiriah Griffin, Patrice’s daughter.
And the family can thank Jakiriah for that.
Jakiriah said she woke up to find her bed on fire.
“I was screaming and crying. It was just the worst night of my life,” she said. “I mean, I spent my whole life up in this house. Twelve years in this house.”
Jakiriah’s screams woke her family just in time for everyone to get out.
Her family and some family pictures were the only survivors.
“She just doesn’t know it, but she saved us,” said Toney Melero, Jakiriah’s father. “If she didn’t wake up, it would be a different story. It would have been five lives lost.”
The house fire spread to the church next door, damaging it as well.
Jakiriah said she knows God was watching over her that morning.
“Just to have God to have me wake up is the best feeling. I mean, we could have lost our lives in that house. But I was there to wake up. That makes me feel good because we are here today,” she said.
This family is in need of a lot of help.
If you’d like to donate money or items, download the Cash App, and type in Griffin or the number 205-249-6703.