Lawton family of 6 picking up pieces after house fire

Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 6:44 PM CST
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - A Lawton family of 6 is devastated after their home caught fire early Thursday morning. They said they are grateful to have made it out without any injuries.

Christiana Zender is a business owner and single mom. She and her 5 kids were sleeping downstairs in front of the fireplace to keep warm when their smoke alarm started blaring.

“And I was half asleep, I was confused, so I just get up and I see there is smoke everywhere,” Zender said.

Zender said her 13-year-old daughter sprung into action calling 911.

“She starts helping me take the kids out and of course, it’s freezing rain it’s ice outside, and everyone is in their undies, so we’re trying to grab blankets and get out and grab the animals and get out,” Zender said.

Zender said they were lucky, she had just changed the batteries in the home’s smoke alarm.

“I had just changed out the batteries and I had left it on the counter for a day or two because I had to climb up to put it back and I didn’t want to because I was busy and for some reason, I was like I got to get that back up there and put that fire alarm back. And that’s what saved our lives because the kids were literally three feet away from the fire,” Zender said.

The family had just moved into the home last summer. Zender operates her bakery business out of their kitchen, and the house itself means a lot to her.

“It was really hard to get that house, it was a big accomplishment for me because I’ve worked really hard. We’ve been homeless multiple times. And I started this business and I have been taking care of these kids by myself for 5 years and doing this business. So buying that house I was so proud of myself and now it’s burnt,” Zender said.

Zender said she moved to Oklahoma 6 years ago, and the support she has received so far is mind-blowing.

“The community in Lawton is amazing I can’t believe how much everyone comes together, people are offering help they are offering clothes I can’t believe how kind everybody is,” Zender said.

If you would like to continue that kindness you can donate to this family’s Gofundme.