Man saves 3 kids from burning home in Parkersburg

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - A father sprang into action when his 7th Street home suddenly caught fire while his three children were inside.

“I got the boys and I thought I had my little girl with me. I had glanced at her for a moment and told her to come with me and I thought she was right behind me. I came outside and realized she wasn’t with me,” says Donald Harding, the father who rescued his children.

“I was upstairs in my room playing with my dad’s phone,” remembers daughter Shyla Harding. “My dad came back upstairs and got me. He told me that the house was on fire, that’s why it was so dark.”

“Within a few seconds, the smoke had begun billowing up the stairway. I grabbed her by the hand and we bumped into the walls on the way out but we made it out,” he recalls.

And…Donald didn’t stop there.

“He even tried to save the house. Went back in, threw burning items out of the house and he tried his hardest to save our house but he made sure to get these kids out first thing…It was amazing,” says mother Cassi Harding, who was at work at the time of the fire.

Donald says that he didn’t feel like his actions were particularly extraordinary.

“I just hope anybody else would do the same thing. I’m not a hero. They’re my kids, what else would I do?”

“I thank God…thank God that I still have my family,” adds Cassi.

Original Story 6/7/19

A man and three children were taken to the hospital Friday afternoon after fire heavily damaged a home on 7th Street in Parkersburg.

The two-story, wood-frame home at 1810 7th St., next to the Dairy Queen, caught fire shortly after noon.

Parkersburg Fire Department Capt. Brian Drake said the man, who hasn't been identified, went upstairs and got the kids out of the burning house before trying to put out the flames with an extinguisher.

When he was unable to get the fire out, Drake said the man carried some burning items outside and called 911.

The man had some burns, and Drake said he and all three of the children were taken to WVU Medicaine Camden Clark to be treated for smoke inhalation.

Drake said flames were coming from the lower level of the home when firefighters arrived, but they were able to quickly get the fire under control.

A section of 7th Street was closed for more than an hour while firefighters worked at the scene.

The American Red Cross was called to assist the family.