SHREWSBURY TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- It's the season of giving, but for twin sisters in York County, nearly everything they own was taken away during a house fire. Now, they're hoping others can give a little to help them rebuild their lives.
The Herrens had been fixing up a home on Bohr Court and were close to having it done when that fire destroyed everything.
Flames devoured the house November 23rd.
"My aunt [Melissa Herren] had just gotten home from work and was starting a fire in the fireplace, and they used little wood starters, and she thinks one of the piece of wood that was wet, and it popped, and it landed in her lap, landing her dress pants on fire," said Kyrstin Treaster, Michelle Herren's daughter.
Michelle and Melissa Herren are twin sisters. Family members say Melissa, who was home when flames ignited, caught fire. They say Melissa ripped off her clothing, a move that also ripped off skin. She was flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital Burn Center for those injuries.
The inferno left Melissa scarred, mentally and physically. Family members say she ran back into the home to save her dogs. The flames severely burned her legs. Her lungs later collapsed in the hospital.
"People can say all I have left is the clothes on my back, and my sister doesn't even have that because her clothes literally burned off her and melted to her, so left, without not even the clothes on her back," said Michelle Herren, Melissa's twin sister.
Michelle and Melissa are not only related by blood, they are also best friends.
Melissa bought and remodeled one house; meanwhile, Michelle built another just yards away from her sister.
At the time of the fire, the two were living together.
"We took our time over the last six months and remodeled the entire house. We tore the kitchen out, put a brand new kitchen in it, tore the bathroom out, put brand new bathrooms, brand new carpet, brand new hardwood floor. We painted every single wall," explained Michelle.
All that work has been reduced to ashes.
"The first week or so I was just numb, and then you start realizing everything that's gone," explained Michelle.
That includes four of the sisters' dogs, furniture for Michelle's new home, and so much more - essentials, the family says insurance won't cover.
"It being an investment property, the insurance will only cover the structure, nothing in the house. It basically is trying to rebuild everything we have," explained Treaster.
"You know, I'm fortunate. I have a pretty good job, and I have a pretty good company that is making some donations for me, and the little bit I did lose, but my sister has nothing," explained Michelle.
Michelle isn't thinking of what she has lost but how she can support her sister during this terrible time.
"It doesn't matter what I have to sacrifice, what I have to give up - my sister will be made whole again," she said.
Above everything else, the family tells FOX43 they're just happy Melissa made it out of the house okay. They do have plans of bulldozing the house and rebuilding on the property as soon as engineers give them the okay. As for how they're going to furnish it, that's where they say the community can help.
They say the best method of support is gift cards.
People can send them to Michelle Herren's company, Chesapeake Urology, located at 25 Crossroads Drive, Suite 306, Owings Mills, Md., 21117. Attn.: Barb O'Brien, House Fire Fund.
People can also donate to their GoFundMe at https://www.gofundme.com/6gjoy9s.