Elderly Couple Dies After Trying to Save Pets in House Fire

Carol Carty, 81, and James Carty, 82, died after their home of 52 years caught on fire; their family says they believe the couple was trying to save their pets

A family is mourning an elderly San Bernardino, Calif. couple who died while reportedly trying to save their pets in a house fire.

On Saturday night, the home of Carol Carty, 81, and James Carty, 82, burst into flames, according to ABC7. While firefighters managed to get the pair out of their home, where they lived for 52 years, they later died at a local hospital. Carol and James’ pets died as well. It’s not clear how many they had or what kind.

The cause of the fire is unknown.

“We believe they were trying to save the pets and animals they had in the house first and unfortunately didn’t make it out,” the couple’s grandson, Brian, said in a GoFundMe to raise money for their funeral costs.

He added, “In this tragedy, their rescued animals were collateral. they loved animals and even rescued them all the way till their passing. growing up we would always find ways to help rescue animals and it was just something they truly cared for.”

Reflecting on his grandparents’ selfless generosity for others, Brian wrote, “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 that is willing to help us pay to lay my grandparents to rest peacefully it would truly mean the world to my family and I.”

Remembering Carol and James as “amazing souls” and being “loved by all the neighbors,” Brian said “they loved every single person they cared about and talked too [sic].” 

Their son, whose name was not released, also told ABC7, “I think they died trying to save their animals, trying to save their cats, and their little dogs.”

The couple’s neighbors added that the local fire department arrived at the scene but turned around and came back an hour later to put out the flames.

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