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Fort Pierce family of 7 loses everything in house fire, hoping for help from community

Electrical issue cause of fire
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Posted at 10:29 PM, Nov 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-25 00:01:05-05

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — As most people are preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving, a Fort Pierce family is trying to figure out not only where their next meals are coming from, but where they're going to live.

They lost everything they own in a house fire caused by an electrical issue last week.

Barbara Bell lives in the home on North Sixth Street with six of her family members, including her two young grandchildren. One has cerebral palsy.

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She stops by the home daily and fights back tears each time. She said a friend was visiting her last week and she was showing her the work she had been doing around the home.

"We walked in the back and she wanted to see the back of the house," Bell described before they both saw smoke coming from near the air-conditioning unit.

"You know, we called the fire department, got the water. It was just crazy," Bell said.

Her son, Jerry Stone, showed WPTV the inside of the home where everything was black and covered in ash.

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"[One of the boys] jumped out the window," Stone said.

Bell is grateful no one was hurt. But she has lived in the home for 20 years and never planned to leave it.

"I got the news today, just today, that it isn't going to be able to be repaired," Bell said.

Now, they are staying in a low-cost motel and have some friends helping them. They've been given a donated turkey, but they need so much more to replace what was ruined.

"Every blanket, coats and shoes and food. Everything was gone," Bell said.

With no home insurance, they know the community is their best hope to start rebuilding.

The family has created a GoFundMe account to help with replacement costs.