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.