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Community rallies to support family displaced by fire

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CONEWAGO TWP., Pa. – The community is rallying to support a local family of 12 that was displaced by a house fire right before the powerful winter storm this weekend.

Crystal and Jesse Burnham say they have always been a welcoming family, from helping neighbors out to adopting six of the family’s ten children. But they never thought they would be on the receiving end of the community’s support.

“On Thursday morning, we went out and we stopped and grabbed some breakfast,” Crystal Burnham said. “Someone in our community paid our bill, they didn’t even tell us. There are just so many little things like that; everyone’s been so good to our kids.”

A fire destroyed much of the inside of the Burnham family home on Wednesday afternoon in Strinestown. They say they’re thankful many of the important things like pictures and baby books were spared.

“Our son started to get a little upset, and I thought that he was upset about his Xbox,” Crystal Burnham said about when her son got back home on Wednesday. “He has a teddy bear that he had since before he was born, and right when I turn around, there were seven firefighters and they all put their helmets on. They went in and they’re moving stuff and they brought it out, they found it.”

The American Red Cross helped and friends offered places to stay for the family.

They found a hotel to keep the whole family together, which could have proved difficult with the snowstorm rolling in.

“It got urgent only from the standpoint of not wanting to continue to bounce around,” Jesse Burnham said. “If we didn’t have a permanent place tonight, it’s like now we’re in this bad weather trying to find something, and who knows how bad it’s going to get.”

The Burnhams say they are grateful for all the support through this challenging time.

“It means so much to me all the people that are reaching out, that people care enough to take action,” Crystal Burnham said.

Click here for more information on how you can help the Burnham family.