Indiantown fire victims getting help from New York City

Fire destroyed Martin County home last week

INDIANTOWN, Fla. - An Indiantown family that lost everything in a quick moving fire last week is getting help from unlikely places, including New York City. 

Jessica Price, 19, said she made a split-second decision to grab her infant son and run out of their burning home. All five of the people that lived there survived, but were left with nothing until now.

The American Red Cross was first to respond, then friends and family began helping the family pick up the pieces. Now, complete strangers from more than 1,000 miles away are offering their help.

"It's amazing to know that there are still people out there who are still willing to help a family that they've never met before," said Price. 

Price said she saw sparks coming from behind a clothes dryer last Sunday. Those sparks ignited a huge fire that burned her Indiantown home to the ground.  

"His birth certificate, his clothes, his shoes, everything is gone," she said about her one-year-old son Daniel's belongings.

The tears of Price and her mother, Victoria Ennis, are now beginning to dry.

"Remembering everything that was lost, everything that burned up in the house and also dealing with a lot of people putting the pieces back together, I would say, for me and my family," said Ennis, who also lived in the home.

The Red Cross put the family up in a hotel for several nights. Then, a friend offered to loan the family his vacant apartment - rent-free.  A Lake Worth man, a stranger, also reached out to the family, giving them $400.

Janna Herron, who runs a New York City non-profit organization called Mama Love , saw the family's story and decided to help as well.  

"I'm a mom and I have a little son who is almost two years old and so it really touched my heart," she said.

The Mama Love group gathered a few essential items for Daniel including shoes, books, clothing and toys and shipped them more than 1,000 miles to Martin County. The two packages arrived Monday.

"Just give them the strength and the willpower to keep going and to rebuild their lives," said Herron. The group also sent more than $200 in gift cards to help the family through the holidays.

"This Christmas is going to be hard," said Ennis. "It's not going to be like last year's, but I think in a sense, it's going to be a little bit better with what we received from everybody out there."

"Not the presents, not the decorations, but the family," said Price, of what is most important. "And we're all going to be together. We're all safe. That's all that matters."
       
A fundraiser is being planned to help the family later this week at Cruiser's Billiards and Bar in Stuart, where Ennis is a manager. The all-day event will be held Sunday, Dec. 18.

Martin County Fire Rescue officials said that it is possible that the fire that destroyed this family's home was sparked by an electrical malfunction. The investigation continues.

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