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Family recalls scary moments before being rescued from house fire

Posted at 11:17 PM, Dec 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-21 23:18:32-05

Heroic efforts helped save three kids from a house fire in Muskegon early Saturday morning.

Carena Levelston was in her home when the smoke detectors went off around 2:00 a.m, at the same time thick smoke began filling the inside.

“I crawled to my front door and I got out and my daughter had opened a window upstairs to let the smoke out and they were on top of the roof. One of the neighbors, I was banging on her door and her son he had caught one of my daughter and they were screaming saying my son was still in the house," Caren explained.

With help from rescuers, Carena and her two daughters made it out, but her 16 year-old son Latrell was stuck on the second floor.

I started smelling heavy smoke so I opened my window and peeked out,” Latrell Levelston said.
“I could hear my mom and she’s like I need to go get my son, I need to go save my son,” he added.

Latrell also heard the calls of a Muskegon Police Department officer.

“I don’t know his name, he just said Latrell can you make it to the door, i tried but couldn’t make it to the door so i went back to my room, I peeked out and they was like you gotta get out so i just got out," Latrell explained.

Latrell jumped from the second-floor window, the MPD officer caught him on the way down.

“It was an officer, I didn’t catch his name but I really want to catch his name to thank him,” Carena said.

“When he jumped I thought he was going to break his legs because it’s two stories high, but we were able to get on an ambulance and get treatment,” she added.

Firefighters were able to fight the flames and save the structure, but everything inside is a loss and the home in uninhabitable.

A tough blow for a family that’s already experienced the trauma of a house fire.

“We are traumatized because three and a half years ago I lost my sister, 25 years old in a house fire. She left behind a three-month-old baby, so this is very tragic for us,” Carena said.

“We lost everything, four days before Christmas, clothes everything is smoke damaged, our beds everything is gone,” she added.

Firefighters have not yet identified a cause of the fire, but the family says it started in the kitchen.

The American Red Cross has set up a hotel for them to stay in for the time being.

If you’d like to help the family out, click here.