McDowell County woman saves paralyzed granddaughter from house fire

Posted at 3:18 PM, Nov 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-20 17:18:38-05

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    McDowell County, NC (WLOS ) — A family in McDowell County is counting its blessings after a fire destroyed their home just days before Thanksgiving.

Calvin and Shirley Philbeck’s home along Radio Hill Drive is a total loss after the fire Sunday morning. “We just lost everything, and I could have lost my whole family,” Shirley said. All five family members escaped the burning home, including 23-year-old Tabitha Gibson, who is epileptic, and can’t move or talk. Shirley said she was determined to get her special needs granddaughter Tabitha out. “I went into my bedroom, and I kicked a window out,” she recalled.

“I couldn’t get her out because the bed was that much lower than the window, so I just started trying to drag her.” Nurses report that Tabitha is doing well and is comforted by her favorite stuffed animal, which was saved from the fire. Several pets died in the fire, including two dogs. The family is staying with relatives for now and say they don’t yet know the cause of the fire.

Friends have set up a GoFundMe account to help the family get back on their feet.

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