Community helps fire victims

WHITEMARSH, Pa. - December 22, 2009 "I was watching the news and I heard about the fire," said Brian Sheevers of East Norriton, Pa. "Then I got online and I heard about the donations. So I thought I'd bring some toys for the kids."

On Sunday afternoon a blaze broke out in the rented Bethlehem Pike home of George and Karen Alkire in Whitemarsh. Karen Alkire and the couple's 3-year-old daughter were out. George managed to lower his 2-year-old son out from the 2nd floor onto a snow-padded air conditioner. Little Nathan is recovering at Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania.

Calvin Bonenberger, the Whitemarsh Fire Marshall, says George Alkire's actions were wise and heroic: "He kept his senses about him. He didn't just jump out of the window by himself. He grabbed his kid and he had to hit the floor at this time. He couldn't get out the door to go down the steps. (He) smashed out the windows with his fist."

The family lost everything and that's where the Whitemarsh Fire Department comes in deciding to help the Alkire's during this holiday season. One man's organization brought over a $500 gift card.

The donations will be given to the Alkires during a party Wednesday night at the Baren Hill Fire House. Even Santa will stop by... and better yet - little Nathan should be out of the hospital and in attendance.

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