Mom, sons flee flames as Waterford apartment burns

WATERFORD — A woman suffered severe burns as she risked her life to pull her 8-year-old son out of their burning apartment, the woman's family said.

Yvette Goure, 33, suffered first- and second-degree burns in the fire that gutted her home early Wednesday, according to the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District.

No other injuries were reported.

Goure was taken by ambulance to Memorial Medical Center in Modesto before she was transferred to the University of California Medical Center in Sacramento, said her father-in-law, Bill McCarthy.

He said Goure suffered burns on her arms, face and back. A spokesman for the Sacramento hospital said Goure was listed in serious condition Wednesday afternoon and was in the intensive care unit.

Goure lived in the apartment with her 12-year-old and 8-year-old sons. McCarthy said his grandchildren were not injured and were staying with their father Wednesday.

The fire occurred shortly after midnight at the apartment complex in the 13000 block of Welch Street, just east of Tim Bell Road in Waterford. The complex has three two-story apartments.

Battalion Chief Mike Wapnowski said Goure and her two sons were upstairs in the apartment getting ready for bed when the fire started in the living room. The fire's cause had not been determined.

He said one of the sons alerted their mother about the fire, and all three were outside when firefighters arrived.

Goure was injured in the fire, Wapnowski said, but he did not know if she was injured while getting out or while pulling out one of the boys.

"There was a narrow pathway that leads to the front door, and she might have gotten injured while going through there," Wapnowski said. "They are extremely lucky that they were able to exit the building."

McCarthy said his daughter-in-law was burned while pulling her 8-year-old son out of the burning apartment. He said her 12-year-old son had made it out safely.

"She risked her life," said McCarthy, 58, of Modesto. "She is a courageous woman."

Goure's apartment was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, said Capt. Shane Hawkins of the Fire Protection District.

"Flames were coming out through the front door (entrance)," Hawkins said. "And the flames had reached the exterior of the second-floor."

The firefighters launched an aggressive interior attack and limited the fire damage to Goure's apartment, Hawkins said. Smoke damaged one of the two other apartments.

Firefighters had the blaze under control in about 20 minutes, Hawkins said. He said no other residents at the complex were displaced by the fire other than Goure's family.

Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at or 578-2394.