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Family Overwhelmed With Community's Support After Fire

<P>After a fire destroyed a home where two families lived, they say help from the community is helping them on their long road to recovery.</P>

HAGERSTOWN, MD - After a fire crept up the walls of a house on the 17000 block of Virginia Avenue, two families who rented the homes had to move out.

The fire started in the basement of the home around 3:30 a.m. Monday morning. The State Fire Marshal's Office ruled the fire accidental after a power strip malfunctioned, setting a couch on fire.

Gary Heagy, his wife and three daughters lived on the first floor. Heagy said he tried putting out the fire after his family was outside, but it was too late.

"Our pictures and things and memorabilia that we had are totally gone," says Heagy. "The only memories we have now is what's in our heads."

The family is now staying with relatives and Heagy says the community, from strangers to businesses has supported them, providing everything from clothes to blankets.

"Old friends we haven't spoken to in years are putting on a hair cutting benefit and a spaghetti dinner benefit to help us out," says Heagy.

According to Heagy, the landlord isn't sure if he'll rebuild, but if he does, Heagy says his family would like to move back in.

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