Delaware County family opening Christmas presents escapes fire, home destroyed

MIDDLETOWN TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A Delaware County family lost their home and pet when a fire ignited as they were opening Christmas presents.

It happened in the unit block of Rampart East in Middletown Township around 10 a.m. Friday.

Authorities said seven family members were inside the home when they noticed smoke. All managed to escape without injury.

Seventy-five firefighters responded to the scene. Four suffered minor injuries battling the blaze.

"We are grateful for the volunteers in the area for coming out on Christmas Day to help their neighbors," Middletown Township firefighter Mark Kirchgasser said.

It took crews 35 minutes to get the fire under control.

Officials said, just like the homeowners, the firefighters were opening presents with their own families when they got the call.

"It's a reminder on how precious life is on Christmas Day, that even though you lose property, you can still keep your family together," Kirchgasser said.

While the family was able to make it out safely, their pet was not.

The home is considered a total loss and the Red Cross is helping the family find another place to stay.

"The family is very courageous. They are going to have a tough go, but they are going to be OK." Kirchgasser said.

There is no word yet on what caused the fire. It is under investigation by the township's fire marshal.
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