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‘She Saved Our Lives’: California Woman Dies In House Fire Sparked By Electrical Short In Christmas Tree

A young woman lost her life after alerting five others about a raging house fire in the Sacramento-area community of North Highlands, California, on Christmas Day.

The inferno apparently was sparked by a faulty artificial Christmas tree, igniting the conversation about the importance of working smoke detectors in the home.

On Sunday, Dec. 25, at 2 a.m., Destiny Abdrazack woke up to a smell of fire in her future in-laws Sacramento home, according to reports.

Destiny Abdrazack house fire on Christmas
Destiny Abdrazack was killed on Dec. 25, 2022, in a house fire. (Photo: GoFundMe)

The Sacramento Metro Fire department said the fire was caused by an electric short in the holiday tree. The 22-year-old Black woman alerted everyone in the home — her fiancé, future in-laws Ernest Isom and his wife, and two other adults — about the fire, helping them escape with no problem.

Abdrazack and the family’s two dogs did not make it, succumbing to the smoke and flames that ultimately destroyed the Isoms’ property.

The woman was found in the living room by firefighters and rushed to UC Davis Burn Unit at a nearby hospital. Medical professionals listed her in critical condition until pronouncing her dead, KSBW reports.

Isom tried to explain what happened that day, saying, “She was the one who yelled fire, and that’s the sad part. She saved our lives.”

The patriarch said the family had gone to sleep without turning off all of the Christmas tree lights.

“Unfortunately, they wanted to keep the lights on until the last minute, and we all happened to fall asleep, and we had an instant, seconds to get out,” Isom said. “It was fast, and that’s how quick it went. I’m talking minutes.”

Neighbors told KCRA News they saw the tree sparking from the outside and knew something was wrong.

“You could see the flickering light on the tree, and that’s kind of like the telltale sign of a fire,” said Richard Byers.

Byers and other neighbors tried to help, with him grabbing a fire extinguisher from his house and another neighbor spraying it from his house’s garden hose.

“The fire just came right back. It was too intense, moving too fast,” he said.

Brandy Byers, his wife, said when she saw the Isom family outside, they were calling in anguish for help.

“They were screaming, ‘Destiny! There’s someone inside! There’s someone inside!'” Brandy told KCRA. “There [was] nothing any of us could do.

A GoFundMe started to pay for the woman’s hospital and funeral costs after the tragedy called Destiny, “one of the most beautiful souls that crossed our paths.”

Gabriella Zaccaria, the organizer of the crowdfunding campaign, said her friend is gone but will never be forgotten, saying, “she is no longer earthside, but she will always be with us.”

The profile has raised under $4,000 of its $100,000 goal.

The Sacramento Metro Fire Department did not give a formal statement on the incident but continues to encourage people to check their batteries on smoke detectors to make sure they are working and plans to have a smoke detector campaign in early January to bring awareness to the community, helping them learn how to install the correct.

The U.S. Fire Administration released a report that says, “three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms,” adding, “the risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.”

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