Dad flips car while rushing to check on kids after house fire

A Prince George’s County father crashed his car while rushing to his house that caught fire with his children home alone.

The fire was reported around 10:45 a.m. Wednesday in the 100 block of Old Enterprise Road in the Largo area. Authorities said two children were home when the fire started, but they heard the smoke alarm and safely evacuated before firefighters responded and quickly put out the flames.

“I was like, ‘Daddy, the house is on fire. The house is on fire.’ And I’m freaking out. He thinks I’m still in the house. I’m not in the house. Then, the call gets disconnected,” said daughter Corbin Pettigrew.

After getting word of the fire, Carlos Pettigrew ran out of a parent-teacher conference and into his car, which he ended up crashing. He managed to get out of the vehicle, flagged down a driver and sprinted home to be reunited with his children.

"I was gonna lose my children, and I wasn't ready for that," said Carlos Pettigrew. 

Investigators say the fire was caused by a malfunctioning extension cord that ran behind a bookcase in the living room. The fire caused an estimated $50,000 in damages.

In the meantime, the American Red Cross is assisting the family.