BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A Bakersfield family is mourning the loss of their 22-year-old daughter who died in a house fire early Saturday morning.
A house fire so ferocious the parents of a disabled woman were unable to save her.
Kallista Thompson’s parents, Roy Hernandez and Linnet Hernandez fought to save their daughter.
They described a frantic attempt to reach Kallista in her room before needing to escape themselves. Kallista died and the fire caused heavy damages to the home.
Roy kicked open Kallista’s door as his wife witnessed a fireball shoot out of the room. He avoided the blast, rushing in. When flames forced him out, he went back, this time lower to the ground. But there was nothing anyone could do.
“He told me she’s gone, get out of here,” Kallista’s mother Linnet Hernandez said. “Get out of here she’s gone. I have our 10 year old, I’m shooing her out the door. She’s screaming for her sister. She wants to go in. I’m like no we have to go we have to go out. I’m on the phone with 911. I’m telling them please hurry.”
Kallista was 22 years old. Linnet said she had friends and was loved by her family.
A day later and the home is scarred with burns. The hallway to Kallista’s room was scorched. The room itself, barely recognizable. Her mom said Kallista lived her life in pain.
“Kallista was born with epidermolysis bullosa,” Linnet said. “Her skin blisters and peels off the body. It’s very painful. She lived 22 years in pain doing normal things that you and I would take for granted. Being able to walk, jump, hike. She could never do.”
Roy said the smoke alarm in Kallista’s room never went off while the one in the hallway did activate but only after he had kicked open the door.
Investigators told Linnet they think Kallista did not feel the flames.
“The investigator had told us she had most likely had succumbed to smoke inhalation and went peacefully,” Linnet said.
It happened on Laguna Street, near College Avenue and Oswell Street. Friends and family helped pick through what’s left of the home where Kallista and her family once lived.
“We can’t live here anymore,”Kallista’s stepfather Roy said. “Our daughter passed away in this house and we just know we need to grab our stuff and never come back. We don’t really know what the next step is.. Everything is just fuzzy.”
Friends set up a GoFundMe page to help the family with costs.
“We set a goal for $20,000. Part of that money is going to go towards funeral expenses, ” Rudy Rodriguez a family friend said. “Whatever’s extra is going to go towards them finding another place to live. They are staying with a relative but I know they want to be on their own. They want to be in their own place.”
As of this time it is unknown what started the fire.
The family says they are looking for a permanent place to stay and have set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for funeral arrangements for Kallista and other expenses.