Firefighters credit mother, 10-year-old son for avoiding tragedy at Healdsburg senior care facility

- Building inspectors red tagged the Magnolia Manor on Monday, a day after fire ravaged the senior care facility

While there isn't much left of the building, all six patients got out safely, thanks not only to the woman who owns and runs it, but to her 10-year-old boy Carlos Matos.

"I feel like I did pretty good job,” Carlos said. “I did what I was asked to do.”

At about 6:00 p.m. Sunday, Carlos noticed smoke coming from the stove and told his mother. She opened the broiler at the bottom."A huge flame shot up and started catching fire. The upper cabinets were on fire," said Liz Matos.

She told Carlos to go outside and call 911. So he did.

Healdsburg Fire Marshal Linda Collister called Carlos a hero.

"They said help is on the way and to take a deep breath. I was pretty scared and heavy breathing and stuff," said Carlos.

While Carlos made the call, his mother Liz Matos made six trips in and out of the smoky building evacuating her elderly patients one at a time. All were out before firefighters arrived. 

"It was super scary. I wasn't sure sometimes we were going to make it. But I needed to help them. They depend on me," said Liz Matos.

No one was injured. But the family owned and operated care facility is a total loss.

"She was able to get them out in wheelchairs. When we got there they were outside in their blankets. We were all happy about that," said Collister.

Carlos says he's been thinking a lot about the fire and how much more serious it might have been.

"I'm just happy everyone is safe. All the animals are okay," said Carlos

His mother added: "I'm really proud of him. That was a lot of pressure to put on him.”

The family hopes to find a rental space they can use for a facility temporarily, while they rebuild what the fire destroyed.
 

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