Woman who lost 4 children, mother, in fire speaks

February 29, 2012 2:31:23 PM PST
The woman whose house in New Jersey burned down last week killing four of her children and her mother is speaking publicly for the first time about her unbearable pain.

Natalie Jefferson is just 33 years old but has experienced a lifetime's worth of sorrow.

"Oh my God, why is happening? Why me and my family?" said Natalie Jefferson, mother.

When the worst fire in South Plainfield, New Jersey history ripped through a home last Thursday, it tore a family apart.

A single mother of seven, 33-year-old Natalie Jefferson, escaped with three of her children.

The other 4 and her mother were trapped inside.

"I ran back in to try and get the other children, but I couldn't see nothing," Jefferson said.

That morning, Natalie Jefferson lost her mother and four children, 12-year-old Alize, 7-year-old Christopher, 5-year-old Tyler, and the youngest, Elijah, was about to turn 3 years old.

"Elijah, Elijah is my baby," Jefferson said.

It's been five days since the fire, and since then people have started a makeshift memorial.

As impossible as it seems to put this tragedy behind her, Natalie says, as a mother she has to forge ahead.

"I can't break down. I have to be strong," Jefferson said.

She wants to be strong for her three surviving children.

Since then, help from her community, strangers even, has been overwhelming.

There has been nearly $10,000 raised already.

"There's a lot of good people in this world," Jefferson said.

Her tears show her appreciation, but she doesn't have time to cry.

She says she just found out a judge granted custody of her youngest child, 2-year-old Angel, to her father.

"How can I lose another daughter?" Jefferson said.

"So you're going to fight this?" Eyewitness News asked.

"Yes I am, with bells on," Jefferson said.

While she works to bring her baby home, she waits for the hospital to release her 8-year-old son Jordan.

Doctors expect him to make a full recovery.

Right now, only one of her seven children is at her side, 15-year-old Shaquan.

"I tell him that all the time. We're going to make it. We're going to make it," Jefferson said.

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