SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCBD) – A family of six in Summerville is working to get back on their feet after losing their home to a fire two weeks ago.
The home is in the historic district of Summerville and sits on Central Avenue near Dorchester Avenue. The fire was reported on February 19th after 10 p.m.
Mona Caudle happened to be up late that Tuesday night when she saw an “orange glow” coming from her window.
“I was just lying on the bed and this glow, the whole backyard lit up in orange,” said Caudle.
She stepped outside to see what was going on and found her neighbor’s home on fire. Mona ran to the home, which is just steps away, and started calling the Mullinax family inside.
“It was just a sense of panic the entire time. It was like you got to get them out,” said Caudle.
Mona called the parents but they were sound asleep not answering. She called 9-1-1 and began banging on the door to wake the family of six up.
“I literally was banging on the door as hard as i could,” said Caudle.
Mona said the father finally came down to the door confused.
“I said you run upstairs and i’ll get one of the children,” said Caudle.
Mona is familiar with the first floor of the home. She went straight to the room of the oldest daughter, a fifth grader, to save her.
“I grabbed her as hard as i could and i grabbed her, we came out of the house,” said Caudle.
At this point, Mona said, smoke was filling the door and she could barley see anything.
In the two minute 9-1-1 call you can hear how chaotic it is on scene.
Mona shouts “we still can’t find the husband.”
The father went back in thinking they had one more child to get from the burning home.
In the 9-1-1 call Mona screams “get out, get out!”
The father comes out and Mona tells dipatch everyone is out of the home.
“when he came around you know i was like we’re good. Everyone is out of the house,” said Caudle.
The family and their dog made it out safely without injuries.
Mona said they are “bonded for life.”
“they’re my new best friends,” said Caudle.
Betsy Mullinax said the family is doing welll and is extremely blessed to have Mona in their life.
“There’s a struggle to quit playing what if, Mullinax said because, “we were sound asleep.”
Mona said the rescue, which took about two minutes, felt like forever that night.
“There was never another thought. It was go get them or go wake them up,” said Caudle.
Mona is a hero to many people in the town of Summerville. She stepped into action before firefighters got on scene.
Without her, the story could have ended tragically.
Mona said police and fire had them go to the road instead of her home because of concerns over something blowing up.
The historic home is now boarded up with yellow caution tape around it. Fire investigators are trying to figure out what caused the fire.
Betsy Mullinax said they had installed new smoke detectors in the home but for some reason they didn’t go off during the fire.
The Mullinax family is staying with friends for now and are without all of their stuff.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help with expenses.