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Albertson family loses home to Christmas morning fire

Published: Dec. 25, 2020 at 10:36 AM EST
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ALBERTSON, N.C. (WITN) - An Albertson family has lost their home in a fire.

We spoke to the Murphy family’s relative and next-door neighbor, Morris Murphy, who says there was a hoverboard charging when the fire began this morning.

“The whole back of the house was on fire,” Murphy said. “It was just a matter of few minutes… it was fully engulfed, pretty much.”

The Albertson Volunteer Fire Department was called out just after 6:30 a.m. and have confirmed that the charging hoverboard caused the fire.

Bradley, Mary Anne, and their two children got out safely, but the family dog died. The Murphy family are farmers, and family members say this is the third home to burn on the property.

“They just lost everything they got you know, on Christmas Day,” Murphy said.

Fire chief Jonathan Miller said the house is a total loss and high winds fueled the fire. A hoverboard fire is a first for Miller but he said anything that’s plugged in can cause a fire.

“I think with any kind of electronics, I would try to monitor it to make sure it doesn’t get warm,” Miller said. “Anything you plug in has potential to overheat and cause a fire.”

The community has jumped in to help the Murphy family by sending clothes and donations to the Albertson Volunteer Fire Department on Friday.

“Everybody’s been very generous. We appreciate everything everybody’s done in giving the gifts and I’m sure the family does too,” Miller said.

While the loss is difficult, Morris Murphy said the family is strong.

“It kind of reassures what Christmas is really all about – it’s not about material things that stuff that you can buy and replace,” Murphy said. “It’s about your family and Jesus Christ. We’re still family, you know, we know we’ve not lost faith, just when it matters, it makes.”

Murphy said the family is doing okay and has a place to stay.

The fire department posted on Facebook that if anyone has any further donations that they would like to make, please call 252-560-6256.

“They have received many clothes and toys and we are grateful for your response,” the post on Friday night reads. “Thank you to everyone who has helped and Merry Christmas.”

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