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Grand Bay man saves toddler, in-laws from burning home

By Shelby Myers

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    GRANDY BAY, Alabama (WALA) — More than 24 hours after a devastating fire in Grand Bay, the walls of this family’s home were still smoldering.

Jonny Gaston said he got a call around lunch Tuesday that smoke was coming from one of the rooms in his wife’s family home.

He rushed down Smith Road in Grand Bay, beating the fire department.

He said he didn’t even hesitate to jump into action. He said he entered the smoking home from the garage door.

Gaston said, ”I rushed in as quickly as possible and of course saved the two year old first, which is my son, Gavin. And then there were four total adults which are all handicap. So getting them out of the house was rather difficult. So I was literally putting people on my back, just dragging them out in any way that I can. There was black smoke, so it was hard to see I could feel the flames. It’s like you’re standing next to a bonfire.”

Gaston said he even had to put out his wife’s grandmother’s hair because it had caught fire.

After getting his in-laws and son out, Gaston said he tried to save their 12-year-old Pug and a fresh litter of kittens, but it was too late.

“There was no way to save the animals. I actually, of course, tried to, but by that time the flames were coming so quickly. The fire was spreading so quickly. It was seconds. I mean literally I felt like I had seconds because once I got out of the garage, it pretty much was coming into the garage.”

FOX10 News caught a heartbreaking moment on camera. The mama cat was laid out in the grass in front of the charred home, still looking for her kittens to come out.

Gaston said the home belonged to his wife’s grandfather and house he built by hand years ago. The loss is a tough one.

“Just lost everything he owned and it’s very sad. Special memories, pictures, yeah, will never be recovered. But one thing’s for sure, you can’t replace people. You can replace things,” Gaston said.

Gaston said eight members of his family are living in his double wide trailer on the same property.

They have a GoFundMe set up to raise money to buy another trailer for his in-laws. You can donate here.

The family is also in need of clothing, toiletries, a queen size bed, two walkers, a wheelchair, a shower bench or bath seat and groceries for four adults.

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