By Bob Allen

VANDERGRIFT (KDKA) – Thousands of items and thousands of dollars have been collected for the victims of a weekend fire in Vandergrift.

The blaze started just before 11 p.m. Friday at a home in the 500-block of Burns Street in Vandergrift. Three homes were destroyed and two others were badly damaged in the fire.

It didn’t take long for people in the Vandergrift community to respond to the needs of families who lost everything in the devastating fire.

Members of the Franklin Avenue Church of God started a relief effort and the response has been overwhelming with 10,000 items of clothing already being donated. Several thousand dollars in gift cards from Walmart and Giant Eagle has also been collected.

Members of the church took action once they saw all of the damage.

“One of the youth here at the church lives next to the victims and called me after the first explosion. We went up and he and his family stayed with us for the evening. When we took them back, we saw the extreme devastation and we decided we needed to do something to help the victims,” Joseph Hesketh said.

Families will be at the church today to pick out some of the items they need.

A benefit will also be held at St. Gertrude’s Parish on Jan. 12.

Police are investigating the cause of the fire and they could file charges against a neighbor.

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