Reporter: David Tate
Roanoke, VA - Nearly a dozen people are homeless after a fire broke out in one home then quickly spread to a second.
It happened just before 6:30 a.m. in Roanoke in the 1200 block of Kirk Avenue, South East.
A few hours after a fire destroyed what little her family had, Kathy Widener was starting to feel the impact of what she just witnessed knowing full well that luck was on her side Monday.
"I guess I'm in shock. It's really hitting me now about what's going on," said Widener.
A streak that began when her nephew woke her up.
"He told me that he had burned his leg; that the lighter exploded and the couch was on fire."
In one bedroom, an elderly couple needed help getting out. It was more difficult because his medical condition required he use bottled oxygen.
"I grabbed the phone and dialed 911 trying to get his grandparents up that was in the front bedroom. Getting all them up and out," said Widener.
Running back in she made her way upstairs looking for her adopted 11-year-old daughter.
"By the time I got upstairs there was so much smoke you couldn't see. I wasn't sure I was going to get her out. She was getting her kittens and stuff," said Widener.
But then, she began fearing the worst.
"I hollered at her and she woke up and she got the cats and come to me and I knew I had to get her out."
And as they made their way out, Widener knew they had just seconds to spare.
"She was coming down the steps with me. And then after we got out it was like bombs going off in there. I guess the oxygen tanks went off. It's just unreal to go through something like this," she said.
The house the Wideners were living in was condemned and is in such bad shape it will need to be taken down.
Her family had no insurance. The neighbor's home suffered serious damage, which will leave six others temporarily without a home. The owner of that house says she is insured and plans on rebuilding.
"I guess we will do the best we can and believe that God will help us through it," said Widener.
Other than the three minor injuries, a dog and two cats died in the fire.