GILBERTON, Pa. — Smoke could be seen for miles on Saturday morning as a fire tore through a home in Gilberton. A relative was at work nearby and ran over to help.
"My daughter, her husband, the two kids were sleeping in the house and it was engulfed and it was filled with smoke and he woke them up - thank God. Thank God they got out the four of them," Ann Marie Schaeffer, the fire victim's mother, said.
Everything inside the home is gone. The family's seven-year-old daughter celebrated her birthday hours earlier.
"All she wanted was LOLs and her whole babies were burnt, she didn't even get to open her presents," Schaeffer said.
They were able to save one sentimental item.
"Her dad passed away back in 2007 and when he was up at Geisinger, they molded his hand for each of my kids and that was one thing that she grabbed was his hand, which means the world to her," Schaeffer said.
This house is especially meaningful because it's been in the family for three generations.
"We grew up here. We were born and raised here. We were Biscos. We were born and raised here and this was our homestead," Schaeffer said.
Just 20 days before Christmas, the Red Cross is helping the family find a place to sleep.
"Unfortunately, the family lost their house and now they have to look for somewhere else to live," Gilberton Fire Marshal Barry Brassington said.
The family didn't have house insurance. A Go-Fund-Me was set up to help them get back on their feet.
"Any help at all. It's like, when you have nothing, something is better than nothing," Schaeffer said.
A state police fire marshal is looking into the cause on this fire in Gilberton.