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California Couple Dies Together after Their Home of 52 Years Catches Fire: 'Amazing Souls'

Brittany Chalmers
Aug 07, 2022
08:40 A.M.
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A couple in their eighties were enjoying a night at home when things went terribly wrong. A fire started in their house, and they needed to escape urgently. However, the selfless souls couldn't leave in time—read their story and discover why.

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Many have been asked the hypothetical question, "what would you grab if your house was on fire?" But sadly, this has been a reality for some people. Evacuating a building is a scary and traumatic experience.

Worry sets in, and people wonder if their loved ones are safe. When one elderly couple realized they were in danger, their family believed they didn't think about themselves first.

Karissa Finger. | Source: Facebook.com/ABC7

Karissa Finger. | Source: Facebook.com/ABC7

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THEY WERE FRIENDLY AND KIND PEOPLE

Carol Carty, 81, and James Carty, 82, were well-known in San Bernardino, California. They lived in the Del Rosa neighborhood for five decades and looked out for their neighbors.

The couple's child, James Carty Jr., and their grandson Brandon Carty spoke with reporters, and their pain was evident. Brandon consoled his father as he wept, thinking about the tragic events.

The couple lived with their four dogs and four cats and treated them like part of the family. Everyone who met Carol and James spoke about their love and kindness, happy to have made their acquaintance.

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Brandon and James Carty Jr. | Source: Facebook.com/Everything San Bernardino

Brandon and James Carty Jr. | Source: Facebook.com/Everything San Bernardino

THEIR HOUSE CAUGHT FIRE

Sadly, the couple experienced a devastating ordeal in July 2022 when a fire threatened them and their pets. San Bernardino County firefighters arrived at the Carty home and found the smoke-filled building.

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They retrieved the elderly couple from inside and started resuscitation and rescue attempts. They reported that all eight pets had already passed away, and the situation didn't look promising.

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THE COMMUNITY WAS DEVASTATED

Tragically, Carol and James didn't survive the ordeal, and their passing left community members heartbroken. Neighbors expressed their pain and admitted that the incident affected them severely. Karissa Finger, the couple's granddaughter, added:

"It just hurts because I never knew when this day was going to come."

The bond between the Carty couple and their neighbors was evident in the efforts of Ernest Malone Jr., who lived nearby. First responders had to hold him back because he desperately wanted to run into the burning house to save the elderly duo.

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Flowers and candles placed outside the Carty residence. | Source: Facebook.com/ABC7

Flowers and candles placed outside the Carty residence. | Source: Facebook.com/ABC7

THE COUPLE'S SON WAS EMOTIONAL

The couple's child, James Carty Jr., and their grandson Brandon Carty spoke with reporters, and their pain was evident. Brandon consoled his father as he wept, thinking about the tragic events. The grandson said:

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"We believe they were trying to save the pets and animals they had in the house first and unfortunately didn't make it out. They loved animals and even rescued them all the way to their passing."

Brandon recalled growing up and watching how his grandparents made a way to rescue and take care of needy animals. He was proud of the loving people they were and expressed that they meant everything to their family.

Brandon and James Carty Jr. | Source: Facebook.com/Everything San Bernardino

Brandon and James Carty Jr. | Source: Facebook.com/Everything San Bernardino

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SUPPORT FOR THE GRIEVING FAMILY

The family was mourning the couple and hoped kind netizens would help them pay for funeral costs. On their GoFundMe page, Brandon stated:

"They were loving, caring, and friendly people who would take the shirt off their backs for a random stranger. This tragedy hit us unexpectedly, and it still doesn't feel real at all."

"If there's anyone out there willing to help us pay to lay my grandparents to rest peacefully, it would truly mean the world to my family and [me]," he continued. By August 4, 2022, netizens had donated more than $7,600.

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The Carty residence. | Source: Facebook.com/Everything San Bernardino

The Carty residence. | Source: Facebook.com/Everything San Bernardino

NEIGHBORS REMEMBERED THEIR KIND GESTURES

The people who lived around the couple for years recalled how they always lent a helping hand. One neighbor stated that many plants in their garden came from Carol and James. They also noted that the duo was always friendly, adding:

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"When I bought my house, they came to talk to me and told me about the neighborhood."

Ernest Malone Jr. | Source: Facebook.com/Everything San Bernardino

Ernest Malone Jr. | Source: Facebook.com/Everything San Bernardino

NETIZENS REACT TO THE TRAGEDY

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The online community was heartbroken by the story, and many shared their condolences with the family and friends affected:

"This is so very heartbreaking. I would’ve done the same for my beloved [pet]. My deepest condolences to their family and friends."

- (Wendy Flores) August 2, 2022

"God rest their souls. These people are a big loss to this world! We need more people like them in this cruel world, but now they can rest in peace with their fur babies being heroes until the end."

- (Robin Koons Herman) August 2, 2022

"My heart breaks for the grieving adult children and their granddaughter for their tragic loss! May the couple along with their beloved pets, rest in peace!"

- (Patricia M. Bond-Alkawadri) August 2, 2022

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FAMILY AND FRIENDS REACT TO THEIR PASSING

People shared their fond memories with the couple, and many highlighted the positive impact they had in their lives:

"They were my neighbors and like parents to me through the years. Carol helped me grieve through my divorce. Best neighbors and parents."

- (Fran Hernandez) August 2, 2022

"The sweetest couple ever. They always talked about their pets. They loved them so much. May they rest in peace."

- (Noemi Arreola) August 2, 2022

"My sweet mamal and papal. At a loss of words for how devastating this is for our family."

- (Brandon Carty) August 2, 2022

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The couple will be remembered as "amazing souls" who "loved every single person they cared about." The cause of the fire was not yet known, and authorities were still investigating the incident.

Carol and James left a lasting impact on the world, and they passed away as selfless people worthy of praise and applause. While they lost their lives, they refused to forget their pets and demonstrated sacrificial love in action.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Carty family as they grieve during this difficult time.

Click here for another story about people who were trapped in dangerous conditions. A 12-year-old girl saved her four younger siblings from a deadly fire—she was deservedly called a hero.

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