Quick thinking by a nearby neighbor might have saved the lives of a family of six in Harrisburg. That neighbor woke up the family just minutes before their Zarker Street home was consumed by fire.
The fire broke out around 1:45 a.m. at a vacant home at 1940 Zarker Street. The flames quickly spread to the adjoining rowhome at 1938. Inside that home, Samira Ali and her five kids were all asleep. She says that she was awoken by a neighbor banging on her door alerting her to the flames. When Ali got up, she found the house full of smoke. She gathered up her children, ages 14, 12, 9, 4 and 3. Everyone got out safely.
Firefighters were able to get the flames under control but not before the fire destroyed 1940 and 1938 Zarker Street. Most of Ali’s stuff, including her clothes and beds, were destroyed by smoke and water. She says that she is simply happy her family was able to escape.
“The most important is that we are walking away with our life. I was crying and in the dumps because of the material things. Like oh my god, I lost everything but at the end of.the day I am very grateful that me and my kids have our lives. At the end of the day, that’s all that I care about,” said fire victim Samira Ali.
Fire Marshalls from both Harrisburg and Dauphin County were on scene trying to determine how the fire began. The incident commander believes the fire is suspicious in nature. The home where the fire started, 1940 Zarker Street, was vacant and he believes someone may have started the flames.
The American Red Cross is helping the Ali family with immediate needs.