West Chester fire leaves 7 homeless

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A family of seven, including three children, is homeless after a fire destroyed a home here early Friday morning. West Chester Fire Chief Mike Cotter said crews were dispatched about 1:20 a.m. to the 500 block of Barnard Street. An engine from Good Will Fire Company was on scene within about one minute, Cotter said.

“As we go there we saw there was fire coming out of almost every window of the house,” Cotter said.
Crews not only had to work to extinguish the flames on the house, but also prevent the fire from spreading to a house next door. When firefighters arrived, the flames were already melting the siding of the home next door, Cotter said. “Their quick response potentially saved that house (next door),” Cotter said.

All family members were able to escape the home safely after one resident discovered a fire in the basement of the home, Cotter said. “Somebody in the family was awake and looked down into the basement and saw fire,” he said. The fire then quickly spread through the older structure, he said, causing roughly $150,000 in damages. No firefighters were injured while assisting at the scene, Cotter said. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Agencies assisting the West Chester Fire Department included Goshen Fire Company, West Chester Police Department, Good Fellowship Ambulance, Medic 91 and the American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

The Red Cross the four adults and three children by providing financial assistance for food, clothing, winter coats and lodging for a minimum of three days. Red Cross is also assisting with health services for medications. The Red Cross provides the assistance provided free of charge and the assistance is funded entirely by donations. Anyone wishing to help families like this can visit phillyhomefire.org or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a donation.

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