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Children of Disaster: Brothers and Sisters (Part 2)

Mrs. Watts (Bronwen Mantel) and her children Debbie (Janice Chaikelson) and Gerald (Steven Chaikelson) head home after shopping.

Mrs. Watts (Bronwen Mantel) and her children Debbie (Janice Chaikelson) and Gerald (Steven Chaikelson) head home after shopping.

City on Fire- 1979

When it comes to this movie, I can take it or leave it, but once again, the children are in peril due to the fire that's burning down their unnamed metropolis.

Prior to meeting Gerald and Debbie Watts (real life siblings Steven and Janice Chaikelson) disgruntled refinery employee Herman Stover (Jonathan Welsh) has released enough flammable liquid into the city's sewer system to kill off everyone just by drinking the water, but thanks to a spark from two welders, the city doesn't have to worry about the water.

But let's go back to single mother Sarah Watts (Bronwen Mantel) and her kids as they enjoy the walk home on a nice summer day of shopping.

For the outing it's a special occasion as Gerald wears his fashionable knee length jean shorts and Debbie's in her romper.

After traipsing through mud and the junkyard, Gerald gets the bright idea to run ahead and call for Debbie to come running into his arms where he narrowly catches her and spins her around like I top. The amusement is quickly aborted when Gerald's soon to be criminal friend and neighborhood baby daddy Robbie invites him up to the clubhouse.

Mrs. Watts tells him that he can join his friends, but to be back home in time for lunch.

Gerald scampers off and up the ladder he goes, only to find stud in training Robbie smoking a cigarette, along with one of the other neighborhood boys. In a Captain Obvious moment, Gerald asks what the two are doing and Robbie tells him smoking of course.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Watts comes out of the house with a bag of laundry and tells her pea snapping neighbor, Mrs. Bogdanovich to keep an eye (or ear) out for Debbie, since she's taking a nap.

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But didn't Mrs. Watts want Gerald to be home by lunch? And why is Debbie taking a nap so close to lunch? Who's going to feed them since she's dumped the kids and obviously needs a mid-morning getaway to the laundromat? Or is going to the laundromat some type of code?

Anyway, the two hellions in the clubhouse get Gerald to light up and even though he doesn't take a drag from the cigarette (well, barely anything) he chucks the cigarette, and it lands in a box of trash and kindling. Within seconds, it's a raging inferno and the boys run to a payphone to call the fire department.

With the fire out of control, Sarah races home and tells the firemen that Debbie's in her room taking a nap. Well, really, she's awoken by the smoke and in her onesie, coughs her way to a baby gate.

These kids are bad news since one smokes and one needs to be held prisoner in her room.

After being rescued, she's immediately transported to the hospital and later, after Dr. Frank Whitman (Barry Newman) and local girl turned socialite Diana Brockhurst-Lautrec (Susan Clark) have completed a three million dollar walk, Gerald wants to know if Debbie's going to be alright. Dr. Whitman assures him that she will be, and Diana notices a covered birdcage.

Gerald tells her that Mrs. Bogdanovich bought the bird and not to tell anyone since birds aren't allowed in the hospital.

I don't know if Mrs. Bogdanovich is the pea snapper, but your house has just caught on fire and you're going out pet shopping? You live in poverty and hate carrots, so I'm thinking she and Sarah are doing some money laundering.

As the city burns around them, all of the sick children are evacuated, leaving Debbie behind as the heat becomes intense.

The worst part of the movie comes when Gerald, alone in a hallway, gets the bird some water as it lays at the bottom of the cage dying. I mean, come on, the cage has been covered throughout the movie and you're going to film a bird gasping for breath? That was cruel.

So now as the hospital catches on fire, the Watts family becomes the first to race through a water tunnel (with Gerald carrying the cage) and Debbie being carried like a sack of potatoes. However, Mrs. Watts' braids never fall once.

After being rescued, we never know what happened to Debbie, but their storyline ends with the cage and bird off to the side.

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