By Matt Petrillo

RIDLEY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) – A fast-moving fire destroyed a family’s home in Ridley Township, Tuesday morning. A fire believed to be sparked by Christmas lights killed a pet dog and displaced five family members.

Crews were dispatched to the 300 block of 7th Avenue, just before 8 a.m.


A family of five who lived in the home managed to escape the flames, but their beloved dog Bella didn’t make it.

The Toland family says more than two decades of memories made inside the home are now destroyed, however, they feel lucky to be alive.

“I was sleeping and my wife was hollering downstairs, ‘Wake up, get up, get up!’ And I started down the steps. And I got halfway down and the smoke started hitting me. And I couldn’t breathe. And my son was like you gotta get out. And I look at the dining room and it was up in flames, the shade was burned up. I couldn’t breathe, so we got out of the house and the next thing you know the whole thing went up,” George Toland said.

Officials say the fire was accidental and likely caused by Christmas lights on several small metal trees.

“It is unfortunate,” Ridley Township Fire Marshal Bobby Griffith said. “People have to be careful using their decorations and make sure they’re not overloading electrical circuits.”

The family thinks their home is destroyed. They have insurance and hope they can salvage what they can and rebuild.