Mother Fights Flames To Save Her Three Children From House Fire

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KELSO, Kan. (WIBW) -- A house fire in Kelso, KS sent a mom into action Sunday night, fighting the flames to save her children.

The Council Grove Fire Department said they arrived to the scene around 10:20 p.m. Fire Chief Chris Blackledge said when they pulled up, the house was completely engulfed.

Prior to the help from firefighters, Lindsay James, the resident in the home, and her three sons had to act quickly.

13 NEWS' Carrie Larsen spoke with James' mother-in-law, Brenda Thomas, who confirms James was on the second floor of the home with two of her sons, and was unable to use the stairs to escape.

"She put the children upstairs out the window, and jumped out the window," said Thomas.

James broke her ankle jumping from the 10-foot drop, before running back into the home to get her 7-year-old son.

"He was unharmed. She must have wrapped him in a blanket, or just the hand of God walking her through there," said Thomas.

After James and her children were out of the house, her husband Johnny, as well as the Council Grove Fire Department pulled up to the scene and helped immediately.

James' injuries were severe enough to have her med-flighted to the KU Medical Center. She suffered a broken ankle, 2nd degree burns and smoke inhalation. All three of her children were taken to the local hospital in an ambulance, but only the 7-year-old was treated for smoke inhalation.

Brenda said the children, ages 5, 7 and 9, knew what they had to do when the fire started despite how young they are.

"He told me that his mother was breaking the glass and told him he had to jump and he said, 'Nana, I jumped'," said Thomas.

Like any house fire, this was a complete shock to the James family. Thankfully, James was able to get her children out safely, however, Blackledge recommends to always be prepared.

"Have an escape location, have multiple points of exit. If you have a two story house, they sell fire escape ladders from hardware stores that you can buy that clip onto the outside of the house," said Blackledge.

James is still in the hospital, but according to her Facebook page, she is awake, and very sore.

If you would like to donate to this family, there is an account set up in Lindsay and Johnny James' name at Alta Vista State Bank in Alta Vista, KS. Saddlerock Cafe in Council Grove also set up a place for donations, and the Council Grove Fire Department is accepting any household items or clothes for the family to use.