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Fultondale Holiday Inn helps displaced family with 5 little girls

JEFFERSON CO, Ala (WIAT) -- A family with five little girls is displaced after their house caught fire Saturday morning.

The managers at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Fultondate said they were heartbroken to see a family dealing with the unimaginable, losing their home.

The family has five little girls under the age of 10. 

They have been staying at the Fultondale Holiday Inn and the general manager and assistant manager said they have become family to them. 

"This is the good part of the job," said Debi Boutwell, general manager of Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Fultondale. 

Before, Sherita and Daniel Thornton were living in their home in Tarrant with their five girls. Now, those memories are gone. 

"It's almost surreal because this area is very special to us. When my husband come in from work, the children greet him in the kitchen and we all sit and talk about our day," said Sherita. 

Sherita said she just left the house when she got the call that her house was on fire. 

"When I got the call, that's all I could think was my babies were in the house and when I left and they were asleep," said Sherita. 

Daniel Thornton said for some reason he woke up without a smoke alarm going offf.

"I had to think quick. I couldn't run upstairs and individually wake them up myself so I just hollered at the end of the stairs where girls sleep and they all came down," said Daniel Thornton. 

"I had to pinch myself because I thought daddy was having a bad dream with screaming," said their 9 year old daughter. 

Everyone made it out safe, but now, they find themselves with nothing. Their family at the Holiday Inn is changing that.

"I grew up in a family. It was 6 of us kids in Gardendale and our house burnt down and we lost everything. We didn't have anywhere to go. I remember  how hard it was for my mom to see us kids not have anything," said Rachel Busbee, assistant manager of Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Fultondale. 

"People walking in with bags of clothes. We just kept looking at eachother. We thought people would help. We just didn't realize they would start doing it within an hour," said Boutwell. 

The family said they may have lost their home, but they gained much more in the end. 

To help out the Thornton family, click GoFundMe

The Holiday Inn Express & Suites said you can drop off donations at their Fultondale location. 


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