Waldo family credits dogs for saving them in fire that destroyed their home

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Memories are the only thing remaining for a Waldo family who lost their home to an electrical fire Saturday.

Loretta Harrison was asleep when she heard her dog, Cassie was barking.

“It was rolling there was fire rolling off the roof,” says 16-year-old Loretta Harrison.

The family of eight went into action.

“I was asleep and one of my daughters came in saying there was a fire in the house,” says mother Danielle Harrison.

Danielle grabbed her phone to call 911—making her the last one in the house…and when she reached for the door to escape, she faced another challenge.

“I was fumbling around trying to feel for the doorknob, I couldn’t see it and I could barely breathe,” says Danielle.

That’s when her 13-year-old step daughter, Jamie, came to the rescue

“so I kicked it open, because she was right there and couldn’t see the door handle,” says Jamie Harrison.

The family escaped with no injuries, but the two dogs, Cassie and scarlet died.

The Harrison family is now trying rebuild, from the bottom, up. Literally.

“We got to see what’s salvageable, everything in this house has sentimental value," says Danielle

Burnt Christmas presents lie on the dark and charred floor, their tree is gone.

Hawthone Mayor Matt Surrency is working on making their holiday season a little brighter. Clothing and food donations are coming in by the bag full. And the city arranged for a local food truck to prepare food for the family

“Even though they are from Waldo, which is out of our city limits our communities are really similar—we are like one big family so we tend to help people out,” says Mayor Surrency. “Especially in time of need. During the Christmas time, resources are few and far between, so we try to help people out.”

Although they lost everything, the family says they will use the fire within themselves—with the help of the community, to rebuild their new life.

"We have to make the best out of the worst situation," says Danielle.

If you want to donate to the family, you can drop off clothes and food at Hawthorne city hall. Or donate at: https://www.gofundme.com/gawgh-house-fire-destroyed-everything

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