By Matt Petrillo

MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) — The Pennsylvania State Police is offering a helping hand to a Delaware County family in need after they lost almost everything during a Christmas day fire. A day supposed to be for opening presents turned tragic for the Duross family when smoke started billowing and flames engulfed their home on Christmas morning in Middletown Township.

It took nearly 100 firefighters to put out the blaze.

“When we’re sitting there watching the house burn down, we thought there was nothing, we lost everything,” Rebecca Duross said.

A pet dog was lost in the fire, but the rest of the Duross family escaped, rushing outside wearing only their pajamas, lucky to be alive.

“It’s sad, it’s sad,” Michael Duross said. “But it can all be replaced. The family is all together.”

Their home remains charred inside and boarded up outside, but now, the community is stepping in to help.

Only Eyewitness News was there on Thursday as Pennsylvania State Police dropped off boxes and boxes of donations. Everything from clothes to blankets to cookware and more.

“We did not hesitate to jump on and assist in any way we can,” Trooper Jessica Tobin said. “A lot of people believe that as Pennsylvania State Troopers, it’s just about arresting criminals and enforcing traffic laws, but it’s a lot more than that.”

“Truly, it’s overwhelming,” Trish Duross said. “You don’t know there’s people out there to help, and it’s really, really heartwarming.”

The Rocky Run Fire Company and Delco Food Project helped collect things the family might need.

Officials say the fire started from a lit candle following power outages in the area, but the family is thankful for the community’s support.

“Just that love fills the void until we start to rebuild in the next year or so,” Rebecca Duross said.

The family does have home insurance. The American Red Cross has placed the family at a nearby hotel for the time being.

State Police say they’re still collecting donations. The family also says if you want to donate financially, their Venmo is @Rebecca-Duross.


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