A Helping Hand: ER nurse gets TLC after devastating house fire
MANATEE COUNTY: Kiari Lee says the fire destroyed everything in less than 30 minutes.
For this ER nurse, the three most precious things to survive the rapid blaze aren’t “things” at all. Lee’s 10-year-old called her from inside the home with a phrase no parent wants to hear.
“She answered the phone and said the house was on fire. And the she hung up. So by the time I got there my only instinct was to make sure that everyone was fine so I tried to run into the house," says Lee.
An EMT on the scene recognized Lee from Manatee Memorial and helped calm her down in what was undoubtedly the most terrifying moment of her life.
“He kind of just redirected me and told me where the girls were, and once I found out that they were okay, that’s when I finally broke down," says Lee.
For the single, working mom, the early March fire left her looking for a new place to call home.
“So we went from our house to just one bedroom. So, all four of us were in one bedroom. I was commuting from west Bradenton to almost Parrish every day to take them to school, and then I had to go to work, so it was like a long commute," says Lee.
Many in the community rallied behind Kiari, creating a GoFundMe to help the family of four get back on their feet. Two months later, Lee and her three now call Sun City home.
“It took a few couple months to find it, but we did," says Lee.
We’ve nominated this frontline healthcare worker to be May’s Helping Hand recipient.
"And just like you have been there for others, we would like to be there for you so on behalf of all of us at Carl Reynolds Law, I’d like to present you with a one thousand dollar check, to really just thank you for who you are and all that you do for our whole community. And for you kids, just keep on being you and keep that big smile on your face," says Kamila Brannan, a lawyer with Carl Reynolds Law.
The fire remains under investigation.