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Family speaks out after fire heavily damages their Benton County home

A fire heavily damaged a Benton County home early Saturday morning.

Posted: Nov. 6, 2017 11:02 AM
Updated: Nov. 6, 2017 1:31 PM

AMBIA, Ind. (WLFI) — A fire heavily damaged a Benton County home early Saturday morning.
It happened at a home on 109 South Fifth Street in Ambia.

That's near the Indiana-Illinois border.

The three people inside all escaped without any injuries.

It all started around 3:30. That's when Nancy Barron woke up to the smell of smoke.

"When I was able to open my eyes, I thought I was going blind or something because I couldn't really see," said Barron. "But it was
the thickness of the fumes and everything, the smoke."

She rushed downstairs where she was met by flames. So she started yelling for her parents to wake up.

"You can't think," Barron said. "I mean you watch TV and you think 'Well I would do this and I would do that' but at the time of the moment, you don't think."

Noelia Tovar said, "Everything caught on fire and it was all so quick that we try to get out as soon as possible."


Luckily, all three made it out safely.

But the place they had called home for more than two decades was left heavily damaged.

Tovar said she's beyond grateful her grandkids weren't home at the time.

"My grandkids left with their dad yesterday so they were lucky," said Tovar. Right now, the three are staying with family right across the street.

And it didn't take long for the community to pull together and support their neighbors.

Velma Martinez organized a donation drive at the Hickory Grove Township Fire Department.

"We're taking anything from clothes, shoes, coats cold weather's coming in so we need to help them prepare for that," Martinez said.
Martinez said when it comes to helping one another in times of need, the people of Benton County always step up to the plate.

"We're here, we're going to do what we can," said Martinez. "I'm going to do what I can so we'll hopefully be able to provide for them."

"That's when you know people really care about you," Tovar said.

Martinez said donations will also be collected Monday.

Items needed include:

Men's items needed:
Pants: 38x30
Shirts: XL
Underclothes: XL
Shoes: men's 10 1/2

Woman's items needed:
Skirts (elastic waist needed): 16
Shirts: XL
Underclothes: 7
Shoes: 7

Woman's items needed:
Pants: (woman's) 24
Shirts: 3X
Underclothes: 2X
Shoes: 9 1/2

Boy's items needed:
Pants/warmups: (boy's) 18
Shirts: XL
Underclothes: 2X
Shoes: 9 1/2

Girl's item's needed:
Pants: 12/13 (juniors)
Shirts: XL (juniors)
Underclothes: 10/12 (juniors)
Shoes: 11 (juniors)

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