Family Lives In Hotel After House Fire

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When Emily Morton woke up from a nap on Dec. 21, she thought the smoke she was seeing was the result of her blurry eyes from waking up.

Morton went back to sleep, not realizing the home she shared with her parents, son and brother was on fire.

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Gayle Morton, middle, eats breakfast with her daughter, Emily, and grandson, Raven, Wednesday at the Days Inn after the family's home was damaged by a fire last week.

After the upstairs filled with smoke, Morton woke up and immediately began looking for a way out for herself and her 3-year-old son, Raven.

"I could not imagine what was going on," she said.

The heat from the fire set off several rounds of ammunition downstairs.

"My son was coughing, I could not see him. I grabbed him and tried to get out."

She tried two bedroom windows but the drop to the roof would have been too much. She said she was on the floor slipping in and out of consciousness.

She said something happened, which she thinks was an adrenaline rush that helped her remember a small window in an upstairs bathroom that had a smaller drop to the roof that her son could handle.

She lifted her son through the window first. He held onto a satellite dish until his mother was out on the roof to help him.

Morton saw a ladder on the side of the home, but determined the fire was too bad to climb down at that location.

After jumping onto a motor home to escape the fire, she said the blaze seemed to worsen.

Her father was in the garage working and could not hear anything. After seeing the fire, he tried to put it out with a water hose.

Neighbors called 911, and the fire department arrived shortly after 1 p.m.

As firefighters fought the blaze, Morton's mother, Gayle, ran up Easy Street toward her home that was on fire. She wondered if the members of her family were OK.

"It is unbelievable to know your home is on fire," she said. "It is like someone has died. It has been real hard to absorb it."

On Wednesday, the family was informed that no items could be salvaged from inside the home. A family cat also died from smoke inhalation.

Gayle Morton said the night of the fire was especially rough, adding she did not even have a toothbrush to use.

"We are all devastated. We had nothing," she said.

Emily Morton said surprisingly the Christmas gifts were salvageable with only the wrapping being burned.

Emily and her son were taken to Payson Regional Medical Center where the two were treated for six hours for smoke inhalation.

The family is currently staying at the Days Inn, but will soon be getting temporary housing from their insurance company.

People wanting to help the family with donations can drop off items at the Days Inn or with any supervisor at the Mazatzal Casino, where Emily Morton is employed.

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