Family of Nine Loses Home in Southwood Drive Fire [SLIDE SHOW]

UPDATED by Julie Montanaro
January 30, 2013

A family of nine not only lost everything in a fire last week, the mother also lost her job. She ran a home day care center there.

Now Yolanda Thompson and her 7 children are staying in a motel room. The Red Cross gave her vouchers for clothes and a hotel room, but that money has run out.

Thompson says she's not sure where they'll go next and she's trying to reassure her children that everything will be okay.

"They've been very upset just trying to figure out where we're going to go to. you know, and they lost their dog in the fire, jsut getting over that it was kind of hard for some of them to eat for a couple of days and just crying out," Thompson said.

Thompson had to grab the children and run when her home caught fire last Wednesday. Everyone made it out okay, but as she mentioned the family dog died in the fire.

Investigators say the fire was caused by an electrical problem.

Thompson is working with several non-profits in town, trying to get back on her feet, back into a home and back in the child care business.

The family needs everything ... including clothing, furniture, housewares and more. Thompson has seven children, five boys and two girls. The boys are ages 13, 10, 8, 7 and 6. There girls are ages 11 and 4.

To help, you can contact the family directly at 850-567-8119.


UPDATED 1.23.2013 by Julie Montanaro

Fire swept through a Tallahassee home day care this morning.

The woman managed to get the children out safely and call 911. We talked with her moments later.

It all started when child care provider Yolanda Thompson smelled smoke. The smoke detector went off and she soon realized her Southwood Drive home was on fire.

"It happened very fast," she said.

Thompson was caring for two children in her home day care and one of her own children was home sick from school.

She managed to get the little ones out and then went back inside for her son.

"I had to go back in and go get him because he was in his bed asleep and the kids tried to follow me but I was like, no, ya'll have to stay right here," Thompson said.

Neighbor Mike Williams helped carry the children across the street to safety.

"There was nothing but flames and smoke and fire, so I told them they had to get back and by the time I got them back, that's when I heard boom ... windows just started breaking out of the house," Williams said.

Firefighters blame the fire on an electrical problem. It did 40-thousand dollars worth of damage.

The family dog died in the fire and its cat was revived by firefighters on scene.

Everyone was just grateful Yolanda and the children made it out okay.

I'm thankful my sister thought quick on her feet and was able to get the children out of the house safely without any danger come to them and stuff. So I'm glad she didn't panic," Thompson's sister Tiffany said.


Tallahassee, FL - 1.23.2013 1:45pm by Julie Montanaro

The Tallahassee Fire Department determined that the cause of the house fire on Southwood Drive was electrical.

Damages are estimated at 40,000 dollars.

WCTV will bring you more information tonight on Eyewitness News.


Tallahassee, FL - January 23, 2013 11:45 am by Julie Montanaro

A woman and three children managed to escape a burning house on Southwood Drive. The fire gutted a portion of the house and a dog died in the fire.

Firefighters are still trying to figure out what started the fire.

The woman called 911, and was able to get herself and the children out of the house. A family of nine currently lives in the house.

Stay with WCTV for more information.


Tallahassee, FL - A house fire has been reported to Tallahassee Fire Department this morning.

The fire is in the 2800 block of Southwood Drive, off Orange Ave.

TFD reports seeing heavy smoke on arrival. The call was received around 11 a.m.

Stay with WCTV for more information.


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