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Pottstown family loses everything in pre-Christmas fire

By Ryan Hughes, Reporter, RHughes@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 23 2013 04:29:50 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 24 2013 10:46:17 AM CST

Members of one family in Pottstown are left with only the clothes on their back after waking up to smoke inside their home Monday morning.

POTTSTOWN, Pa. -

Members of one family in Pottstown are left with only the clothes on their back after waking up to smoke inside their home Monday morning.

"It just breaks my heart, breaks my heart," said Shirley Johnson, who woke up to the fire. "Everything I have, everything is done."

Smoke came pouring out of the second floor bedroom. Firefighters were able to knock down the fire in a matter of minutes, but the damage inside is devastating.

"We had so many gifts under my tree, I mean everything is messed up," said Johnson, who added firefighters were able to save the presents but they were damaged by the water.

The ceiling and walls inside the home in the 700 block of Lincoln Avenue were charred. Pieces of wood and debris were scattered everywhere, showing the intensity of the fire that started just before 10 a.m.

"Like the smoke got me so I flew down the steps and that's how I got cut on my foot," said Sierra Johnson, who ran screaming to wake up her family.

According to fire officials, the fire started on the second floor. Kayla Lofton was forced to make a daring escape. She had no other choice but to crawl out the window onto the roof to safety.

"I just start panicking and I was crying and I just didn't know what to do," said Lofton, who made her way to safety after a neighbor helped get her down.

An ornament on the Christmas tree inside the home says "God will take care of me," and through the heartbreak family members consider themselves blessed.

"I was like really screaming. I didn't want nobody to get hurt and I'm thankful that we're all here right now," said Johnson.

The American Red Cross is assisting the family of 10. They will be staying in a hotel for the next three nights.

Fire officials are still searching for the cause of the fire, but damage is estimated to be at least $50,000.