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Rose Hill family loses home in Christmas Eve morning fire

Published: Dec. 24, 2020 at 3:03 PM EST
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ROSE HILL, N.C. (WITN) - A family has nothing but the clothes they were wearing when their home caught fire Thursday morning.

Investigators say an electrical short caused a mobile home to catch fire in Rose Hill.

The Rivera family has three young children, and all five members made it out of the fire safely.

“In 10 minutes, it lit the house. And then, the smoke was very strong,” said Jessenia Rivera.

Investigators say an electrical short caused the fire, which woke the family up at about 4 a.m.

They made it out safely, but with nothing but what they were wearing.

Right now, I’m sad because I have nowhere to live,” Rivera said.

Also inside the home were the presents the children would receive Christmas morning.

The family says it’s devastating, but their community came together in an instant, raising thousands of dollars in gift cards and cash by the afternoon.

A tragic early morning fire in Rose Hill displaced a family of three on Christmas Eve. I’m live at Rose Hill Volunteer Fire Department with how the community is coming together to help out. More on your WITN-TV evening news.

Posted by Liam Collins WITN on Thursday, December 24, 2020

“It’s unfortunate the timing,” said Nick Buckner, Rose Hill Volunteer Fire Department’s assistant fire chief. “You never want it to happen, but it was just bad timing.”

Buckner and the rest of the Rose Hill Volunteer Fire Department are collecting toys, clothes, and food for the family.

The Riveras are grateful.

“All I need is a house for my kids,” Rivera said. “It’s about ‘where am I going to place my kids?’ And having a roof over our kids’ heads.”

Rivera says the experience was terrifying and happened so fast, but they’re all thankful everyone is alive and well.

They’re staying with friends until they figure out what to do next.

If you’re able to donate, you can do it in person at the Rose Hill Volunteer Fire Department.

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