WATERFORD, N.Y. – Only eight days before Christmas, a First Street home in Waterford was destroyed by a fire on Tuesday.
Fire officials believe the blaze at 19 First Street started in the basement and worked its destruction all the way to the attic, leaving the home a total loss.
Although Christmas presents were destroyed, the community is now pulling together to try and give the family a happy holiday.
Evon Dixon-Hill, a victim of the house fire, lived in the home with her children and grandchildren for six years. On Tuesday night, she watched the home be destroyed.
"All my granddaughters' toys were in the house," said Dixon-Hill. "My daughter was staying with me and my granddaughter, so all of her Christmas stuff is gone."
Neighbors and the community are now banding together, trying to salvage some of the Waterford family's holiday spirit. A fund was set up on Wednesday through KeyBank to help the family get back on their feet.
Marilyn Bazar lives directly across the street, and says the fire victims were good neighbors.
"I could feel the heat coming right through my window and those flames were coming this way," Bazar described.
Bazar sheltered the family in the hours after the fire, giving them something warm to drink.
The fund was set up by the Waterford Lions Club. Those who wish to donate can do so at any KeyBank to the "Waterford Fire Victims Fund."
A teacher from the Waterford-Halfmoon School lives in the same neighborhood as the family and said the school sent out a notice to faculty asking for donations for the family as well.
The three children who lived in the First Street home are staying with their father.
The rest of the family is being helped by the Red Cross.