West Philadelphia family begins regrouping after fire

April 2, 2013 4:30:53 AM PDT
A West Philadelphia family, including two adults with special needs, has been displaced after a late night fire.

The Smith family is taking the first steps to cleaning up their home today.

Fire tore through the house on the 6000 block of Pine Street around 12:30 a.m. Sunday.

"It's hard to realize it happened," Pamela Smith said.

The family was using a kerosene heater to stay warm.

After some kerosene spilled onto the floor, a match was struck and the whole room went up in flames.

"The room just turned black. My brother was in there and I just hollered, "Get out of there, get out of there,' and luckily, all four of us were able to get out the front door," Pamela said.

"When I looked out the window it was just blazing flames," neighbor Genise Perry said.

Pamela, her mom Phyllis, and her two special needs adult siblings all got out okay, but everything they own was destroyed.

"The lady didn't have pair of shoes on her feet," Perry said.

Today, they are trying to pick up the pieces.

"I just want to get back in the house, that's all," Phyllis said.

"This house was passed down to me from my great grandmother and my grandmother had the house as well; that's why it's special to me," Pamela said.

It's a place of memories.

"It's all I know," Phyllis said.

It's a place they hope to move back into again one day.

"Trying to figure out where to go next from here," Pamela said.

The family is staying with the Red Cross for now.

Unfortunately, they did not have any insurance so they aren't sure how they're going to repair their home.