Family saved from burning home shares their story

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A mother and five young children who were saved from a burning building last month are sharing their story.

The woman and children were home December 22nd when their house burst into flames. Senora O’Neal was forced to throw the children from the second floor into the arms of neighbors and police.

Senora was then pulled to safety by Columbus police officer Rufus Goodwin. “I want to say thank you, I appreciate what he did for me,” Senora O’Neal said.

O’Neal lived at the home on Wilson avenue with her daughter and her sister and her five young children. The youngest Jay’veon is still being treated for his injuries and wears an eye patch, “He is going to have eye damage, it (the smoke) damaged the nerve of his eye,” said Alicia Rigsbee, the boy’s mother.

Rigsbee was at the grocery store when the home burst into flames, “I heard a loud boom, I tried to go see what it was, but the smoke came so quick,” O’Neal said.

While the family is thankful they are all still together, their home is a total loss and they have been living in a motel in Worthington, “After this, we have nowhere to go,” Rigsbee said.

Friends have set up a Gofundme account to help the family.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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