There has been an outpouring of community support to help a family of eight who lost everything when a fire destroyed their home on Madison Street, in Northeast D.C., Sunday morning.
About 100 people showed up at a donation drive Wednesday at the Riggs-LaSalle Recreation Center, organized by Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner LaRoya Huff.
“We had people coming as far as Germantown, Maryland,” Huff said. “People came from all over.”
The donated items included backpacks, diapers, belts, books and toys.
“It was just about everything you could think of,” Huff said. “The community really poured out their love.”
Huff is planning two more drives but has not made a decision as to when they will happen.
The family also set up a GoFundMe page to raise money.
“They have their lives and they can move forward,” Huff said. “That is the goal — to help them move forward.”
Fire investigators said working smoke detectors were one of the main reasons the family was able to make it out alive. Even the family’s dog got out to safety.
The family members who are now displaced include 3 children and 5 adults. The children are a 2-year-old boy, a 7-year-old girl and a 14-year-old girl.
The matriarch of the family, Edwina Caviness-Bey, is still being treated at the hospital for burns and broken bones. She’s being called a hero because she ran back into the burning house to save her 2-year-old grandson.
She dropped the child from a second-floor window into her son’s arms before jumping down herself.
“I think it speaks volumes to what you will do to save your family,” Huff said.
Investigators determined the cause of the fire was an electrical surge protector that had been placed under a couch.
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