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Community pitches in to help family that lost home to fire

By Jennifer Joas, Reporter, JJoas@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 26 2014 04:35:33 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 26 2014 05:29:43 PM CDT

The community is stepping up for a family that lost everything in a fire over the weekend.

ROBESON TWP., Pa. -

The community is stepping up for a family that lost everything in a fire over the weekend.

Firefighters were dispatched to the 400 block of Weaver Road in Robeson Township on Sunday afternoon for a fire that quickly got out of control.

"We first received it as a porch fire and within minutes it was spread throughout the whole house," said Asst. Chief Scott Gullo, Friendship Fire Co.

Firefighters fought against the flames and smoke, but they were not able to save the house or the three dogs trapped inside.

"Most fires get caught sooner than later, but this one was going for awhile and it got a jump start on us," said Gullo.

Diane Stoudt's son Scott and daughter Valerie were able to escape the blaze, but now she, her two children and her husband Jeff are left with nothing. 

Community members saw the need and wanted to help.                   

Several local businesses have already donated gift cards, and the family said it is grateful.

"It is outstanding. It is unbelievable the support we are getting from everybody, friends, fireman, businesses. It is great. I cannot believe it," said homeowner Jeff Stoudt.

The Friendship Fire Company #1 of Geigertown also stepped up to help.

"We have a big building here. We have some manpower and we have the support of social media, so we offered to the family to open our doors up on a couple occasions to accept donations here," said Gullo.

The state police fire marshal ruled the fire accidental and believes it started on the second floor near the chimney. Damage is estimated at $400,000.

If you would like to donate items, you can stop by the fire house at 3433 Haycreek Rd. on Saturday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. or Monday from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m.

For a list of what the family needs, you can visit geigertownfireco.com/stoudt-relief-fund.

Members of the Stoudt family want to thank their places of employment -- The Highlands of Wyomissing and Malsnee Tile in Lessport, as well as the following businesses for donating gift cards:

Weavers Orchard
Nissley Food Supply
Eshelman Transportation
Green Hills Hardware
Elverson Supply Company
Twin Valley Coffee
Joanna Store
Amerigas
Doug's Pharmacy
Morgantown Business Association
Holiday Inn
Hopewell Christian Fellowship
Highpoint Baptist Church
Conestoga Christian School
Walmart
Lowe's Home Improvement