A Friday night fire has forced a family of five out of their Wyandotte home just days before Christmas.
And now, friends and family are rallying to gather some basic essentials to tide them over through the holidays.
The blaze began between 6 and 6:30 p.m. in the basement of the house in the 100 block of Goddard, Fire Chief Jeffery Carley said.
Natalie Kelly and her three children — Rosalie, 8 months; Katelynn, 5; and Jaden, 10 — were home at the time of the fire, along with their four cats, but everyone got out safely. The father, Greggory DeRoch, was at work.
While the fire was contained to a portion of the basement, Carley said, there is smoke damage throughout the entire house. The cause of the fire is undetermined, he said.
"There is significant damage to the basement," Carley said. "The house is certainly not habitable at this point in time."
The children's Christmas presents were hidden in the basement and were ruined.
The family, who only has the clothes they were wearing at the time of the fire, is staying with relatives for the time being.
Gregg's brother, Daniel DeRoch, said everyone is thankful for the outreach of friends, neighbors and complete strangers, all offering assistance and donations.
"It is great seeing a community come together to help good people who had hardship fall upon them," he said. "They are feeling overwhelmed at this time not being the type to ask for any help. Not having any money due to the purchase of Christmas gifts for the children and each other."
Gary and Mary Cioccio, who live across the street, have volunteered to collect donations for the family. Items can be dropped off at 119 Goddard.
For those wanting to help, here's the current wish list:
- Rosalie, 8 months old. Wears 9-12 month clothes and size 3 diapers. Also needs winter hats, coat and blankets.
- Katelynn, 5. Wears 6 or 6x pants and shirts. Also needs boots, size 13.
- Jaden, 10. Wears size 8 regular pants and size 8 or boys medium shirts. Also needs winter boots, size boys 3.
- Greggory, father. Wears size 34x34 pants and XL shirts.
- Natalie, mother. Wears sizes 10 to 12 pants.