An online fundraiser is seeking to raise money to support a 34-year-old mother and her two daughters, who are among eight people who were displaced after a fire in a South End brownstone Wednesday morning.
Alicia Soto and her daughters Annabelle, 6, and 6-month-old Amelia were rescued from the two-alarm blaze at 68 West Newton St., which flared a little after 8 a.m., The Boston Globe reported.
Soto, who is deaf, and the girls were asleep at the time, but she was alerted of the unfolding emergency by a smoke alarm equipped with flashing lights, according to WBZ-TV.
“It was too dangerous,” Annabelle Cevillo-Soto told the news station. “My mom couldn’t breathe.”
— Liam Martin (@LiamWBZ) December 3, 2020
Once the family was rescued, the trio was brought to Massachusetts General Hospital, Shailing Santiago, Soto’s sister, told the Globe.
“The kids are fine,” she said. “I think [Soto] just got some smoke in her lungs.”
According to the Boston Fire Department, eight people, two turtles, a cat, and a dog were displaced due to the fire. No firefighters were injured.
An electrical issue sparked the blaze on the first floor, the Globe reported.
A great team save by the members of Ladder 4. Working together for a positive outcome, at the 2 alarm fire at 68 West Newton st. pic.twitter.com/2qxcCYnT07
— Boston Fire Dept. (@BostonFire) December 2, 2020
Katherine Santiago, another sister of Soto’s, told the newspaper the family was in shock over what happened. She was able to salvage only a couple of important possessions once the fire was knocked down, such as car keys, a cell phone, and baby food, she said.
“I’m speechless to be honest,” she said. “We’ve never been through something like this.”
Shailing Santiago has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help the family replace what was lost.
“All her belongings were damaged by water and smoke,” a post she penned on the fundraiser page reads. “We were able to grab some of her belongings but her furniture was damaged as well as all the baby’s and daughter’s belongings.”
Soto needs a new charger for her cochlear implant, too, the post said.
“Anything helps,” Shailing Santiago wrote.
As of early Thursday afternoon, the call for help was well received. Donations topped $14,000 — far surpassing the initial $8,000 goal.
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