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Christmas Eve Tragedy Unites Washington Twp. Community

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WASHINGTON Twp. (CBS) — In Washington Township, a family’s loss has become a community’s mission.

“It’s awful what happened,” said Karin Carpenter, “especially on Christmas Eve.”

“We’re thinking of them all.”

Fire destroyed a home on Wilson Road early Friday morning. Flames poured out of the attic, as the fire gutted the entire two story home. Firefighters said no one was injured in the fire. But the house never had a chance.

“I just wanted to come over and be with the family,” said neighbor Ron Ecker, “at least tell ‘em ‘You’ll get by.'”

With the community’s help, neighbors said the family will come through this. Fire destroyed Ron Ecker’s house on christmas Eve six years ago. He came by to offer help when it is needed most.

“I think you can just rely on friends and relatives. They’ll be there for you. They were there for us and I’m sure they’ll be there for everybody.”

Watch the video…

The family who lived in the home has dealt with loss before. Five years ago, the owner’s husband passed away. They were able to save the pictures Friday morning, which will keep his memory alive this holiday season.

“I heard about it and drove by to see how I could help,” said Bob Miller, who lost his Washington Township business to arson years ago. “If I can help, I can help.”

Miller understands what it takes to rebuild, and he is committed to helping.

“It’s the right thing to do to help your neighbor,” said Miller.

It is one family that lost their home, but it will be the entire community that comes together to rebuild and recover. In the season of giving, the greatest gift for a Washington Township family is spirit.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Reported by Oren Liebermann, CBS 3

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