A woman died and her children were left orphaned following a house fire in northwest Bakersfield late Thursday.

Four of Kristina Stratton's five children suffered injuries in the blaze, according to firefighters and a GoFundMe page. 

The GoFundMe page, set up by Inspire Charter School, said Stratton was a widow who homeschooled three of her children, ages 8, 9 and 10. The page had raised nearly $9,000 in donations by Friday evening.

Firefighters were called to the 10000 block of Cave Avenue just before midnight, according to the a news release. Upon arrival, they were told Stratton was still inside the burning residence.

She was found dead during a search, firefighters said. The cause of the fire is under investigation. 

Kern County Interim Fire Chief David Witt sent out a news release Friday regarding the blaze. 

"The tragic events of last night make our community sit up and take notice," he wrote. 

He provided the following safety tips:

• Make sure you and your family have a fire escape plan. Go through all possible escape routes, know two ways out of each room and choose a meeting place a safe distance away from the home.

• Close the door. A closed door in a home can slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. 

• Install smoke alarms inside every bedroom, outside every sleeping area and on every level of the home. Also install carbon monoxide detectors.

• Call 911. 

(5) comments

slindsey2469

MY THOUGHT, PRAYERS, LOVE, AND HUGS FOR THE FAMILY. MAY GOD HOLD THIS FAMILY IN YOUR LOVING ARMS.

Darla Davis

The photographer caught this devastated woman at possibly the most extreme moment of her shock and grief. How unkind, actually cruel, to publish this picture for the public to witness. I feel certain those who care are certainly in touch with her grief by reading the story. Please delete the photo.

Cookcook

Why didnt ANY. nieghbors help out the moment there was flames visible????

tamibear21

Please just pray for these children . Rather than posting questions against the neighbors when you weren't even there to know the full detail. This family is loved by this whole street and if there would have been something that could have been done , then the neighbors would have done whatever it took. It's unfortunate that this happened , it breaks my heart . I see those kids outside every day playing sports and riding bikes with other neighborhood kids. Their whole lives changed over night. They lost everything. If you have anything to donate that would help them out greatly. Other than that please just keep these kids in your prayers. Along with the family. Thank you

Jancan2

Agreed !!!

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