Neighbours helping burned-out family get by
A week after their home went up in flames, a Melrose family is still shaken but getting support from the community.
The family of five, which includes three boys, ages 12, 10 and 8, lost their home last Sunday.
Their 12-year-old autistic son, Suri, saved the family when he heard a strange noise in the garage early Sunday morning.
He alerted his parents.
"He basically came out and went, ‘Fire! Fire!’ I went, and sure enough, there was a fire,” said father Brett Barnum.
The family could only escape with the clothes on their backs.
"When the flames were eating up the roof of the house, I lost it," mother Lynne Markey said. "When I looked back in the house, those seconds, I knew that we were never going to see that house again.”
The cause of the fire is still undetermined but the damage estimate is $1.5 million.
While the family lost everything, neighbours have been quick to collection donations.
“It was immediately that people were bringing clothes over and bringing shoes over,” said neighbour Misty Ropp, who has been spearheading efforts.
They even had donated gear for the family’s two dogs.
The Barnum boys even received iPads with the generosity from residents, right down to the neighbourhood kids. It still overwhelms the family.
"It's amazing how the kids are worried. The kids are worried about their friends which is sort of cool, right? I had never realized how much they would care."
Living is tight right now for the family, squeezed between two hotel rooms right now.
“People are bringing us down home cooked dinner every night. I just tell everybody - just to have friendly faces come and see us, really helps a lot," Markey said.