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Mother saves brother, children from Rocklin house fire

By: Jon Brines, Placer Herald Correspondent
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A pregnant woman staying with her Rocklin parents discovered a fire in the family home early Wednesday morning. She scrambled to get everyone out of the house including her disabled brother and two young children. “I thank the lord,” said her father Rich Carlson. “God intervened.” Carlson owns the house in the 4300 block of Midas Avenue in Rocklin and was at work at the time. The fire broke out about 7:39 a.m. According to Rocklin Fire Chief Bill Mikesell, investigators are trying to figure out what started the fire around the gas fireplace insert. “There was a box of plastic toys that were adjacent to that and some carpeting that burned,” Mikesell said. “It put out a tremendous amount of black acrid smoke.” Carlson said the smoke was so thick his daughter Rebecca Thomas had to get her two children, Devon, 3, and Cohen, 12-months-old, out the back window to survive but not before waking up her 36-year-old disabled brother. “Her brother was right in the next room and she had to wake him,” Carlson said. His pregnant daughter had to jump out the window, down about four feet to escape. “She got out the window and he was able to hand the children to her,” Carlson said. “But then he was having problems and he kept falling backwards. Finally, he got to the window and she just grabbed him and pulled him out.” All of the victims were rushed to Sutter Roseville Medical Center with smoke inhalation. Carlson said his smoke damaged house is unlivable right now but it could have been a lot worse. “My son was asleep, he probably would perished if my daughter wasn’t there,” Carlson said. Mikesell said there is a lesson in this fire for everyone. “Have an operating smoke detector,” Mikesell said. “They save lives because smoke kills. Smoke detectors save lives.” Mikesell said smoke detectors were on a shelf, not yet installed. Thomas smelled smoke and detected the fire. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.