A Perris family’s home burned to the ground in a matter of minutes, but the family survived the tragedy thanks to a 12-year-old.
Stephany Arellano, the 12-year-old sister was brave enough to punch through a window and help her siblings get out of the house engulfed in flames.
She said the fire was caused by a portable space heater that made a noise minutes after it was turned on.
“My mom was going to turn on the heather, it was getting pretty cold,” she said as she describes the moment the fire started burning.
“She screamed, I woke up. I didn’t know what to do, so I broke the window,” Stephany said. “I got myself out, I was helping my mom get the rest of the kids out.”
Within minutes, the family lost everything.
“Clothes, jewelry, pictures,” said older sister Diana Arellano, “pictures…they say pictures last forever – they don’t” she said as she held a photo album blackened and nearly destroyed by the fire.
Stephany, her parents and siblings were rushed to the hospital to be treated for their injuries and burns.
Stephany has stitches on her hand from the broken window glass. She doesn’t think much of her heroism, but she’s grateful things turned out the way they did.
“I feel happy because if I never done that, they would be dead right now,” she said, “I just feel happy that they’re still on the Earth.”
The Arellano family was only left with the clothes they were wearing at the time of the fire and they are staying with loved ones until they can get back on their feet.
A GoFundMe has been created to help them with mounting medical bills and other expenses.