AVELLA (KDKA) — A family of nine is left with only a bible and a watch after a fire tore through their home.
It happened on Longview Drive in Avella, Washington County.
The family only has a place to stay until Tuesday. After Tuesday, they are not sure what they’re going to do.
Carmena Brooks can barely stand to look at what the fire did to her Avella home on Thursday night.
She lived in the home that her great-great grandfather built back in the 1920’s. Now, the home is reduced to charred piles of clothing and furniture.
“That was our TV and since our family is so big we had to have three couches so that we could all sit down at one time,” Brooks cries.
“I was outside with my dad looking at the stars, and then I heard the fire alarms,” Destiny Brooks says.
13-year-old Destiny was one of the four children home when the blaze broke out. The Brooks’ believe the fire started in the master bedroom when a candle fell onto their bed.
“That was my bedroom and now there’s nothing. There’s nothing left,” Carmena explains.
The fire incinerated everything inside in about an hour. The family says time went by quickly as they watched all of their belongings burn.
“It was like daylight when I pulled clear down there. I could see it up here and when I got up, it was so much smoldering you could see the flames around it. The smoke was heavy,” family member Joyce Moten recalls.
Carmena’s mother says once she got over the shock of seeing a home that she too lived in at one point, her main focus was making sure everyone was safe.
Carmena was at work when the fire started. Her husband, Brian and four children were home at the time.
With no insurance to cover their home, the Brooks family is thanks the community for their thoughts and prayers.
You may mail donations to the Brooks family at the following address:
Avella Elementary Center
1000 Avella Rd.
Avella, PA. 15312
Clothing, shoes, personal care items (Toothbrushes, Combs, Brushes, etc.), blankets, pillows, towels, undergarments, toiletries and canned food.
Male 14 M/L 28/30 11
Female 13 M 5/6 10
Male 12 M/L 16 boys 9
Jeremy 9 M 8/10 kids 7/8 Slim 3
Women L 12 10
Male 2X 36/32 12