Community support swells for family of 10 left homeless by fire

EVERSON, Wash. -- A family of 10 was left homeless after fire ripped through their Whatcom County house early Monday morning.

Eight people were inside the house at the time but made it out without injury.  However, three of their dogs died in the blaze.

The fire sparked around midnight when the father saw flames coming from the north side of the house. By the time everyone got out, the building was a fireball, torching everything, including Christmas.

“Less than 5 minutes the windows were blown out of the house on the south side,” said homeowner Jeff George.

The family sifted through the rubble Tuesday afternoon, but there’s little to salvage from the 100-year-old home.

“My kids are the 4th generation of Georges to grow up in that house,” said Jeff.

And now the smaller children are beginning to ask questions. Did Christmas also go up in smoke?

“I had presents in there for my kids, my mom had all of her presents,” said Jeff’s daughter Jennifer.

So the family reached out for help online and the support started rolling in.

At last check, strangers had donated more than $10,000 to get the family back on their feet – and to save Christmas.

“This is a pretty amazing community,” said Jeff.

“Santa’s coming tonight to bring some kids some presents, and we’ve got dinner coming,” said Jennifer. “We’re just lucky that we live in this community.”

Fire officials are looking for a cause of the fire.

The family plans to rebuild their home on the same plot of land.