Family believes sparklers caused fire that destroyed new home
Hamlin, N.Y. (WHAM) - A Hamlin family lost its home to a fire Saturday night just weeks after they moved in.
Remnants of the Monroe-Orleans County Line Road home were still smoldering Sunday, nearly 24 hours after the blaze. Barely a shell of the house remains.
Deanna Richardson stood in front of what was left of her home Sunday, as she and her fiance' recounted their story to 13WHAM's Antoinette Delbel.
"Devastation,” she said. “Heartbreak. It's hard to look at it."
Richardson and fiancé Ben Moore moved into the home with their two kids two weeks ago.
"This was going to be our forever home,” said Moore.
The couple believes sparklers the family was playing with earlier Saturday night started the fire.
Flames broke out around 10 p.m. Moore said they thought they had put the sparklers out completely before going inside for the night.
The family said they’re grateful they were still awake and together when the fire started.
"I opened the door and just saw flames. We screamed fire and just ran," said Richardson. "Adrenaline just kicked in, screaming fire. I grabbed a kid. He grabbed a kid. We were yelling to get out, get out.”
All six people and two dogs in the home made it out safely. The family cat Molly is still missing. They believe she ran away.
Moore, who is a military veteran, grabbed the American flag on his way out of the house.
“Ben was a Navy vet, so we lost a lot of his memorabilia, and his grandfather's Army memorabilia,” said Richardson.
They also lost hundreds of dollars worth of medication and medical supplies for Richardson’s 13-year-old daughter Hannah who has type I diabetes.
"We had to go to the store at 1:30 a.m. just to try and find a meter that would be compatible with her insulin pump, so that we can get her through the night,” said Richardson.
Despite the devastation, Richardson said the family is stronger than ever thanks to the support of family, friends and the community.
"We just know we've got a lot of love and support, and that's what's going to pull us through the next couple of days, weeks, years," she said.
The community is hosting a fundraiser for the family at Jimmy Z's restaurant in Brockport July 9 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Organizers said 20 percent of a food order will go directly toward the family. There will also be a donation jar for people who want to help.
Family and friends have also set up a Go Fund Me page for Richardson and Moore.