FORNEY, Texas - A community is helping one family get back on their feet after a fire destroyed their Forney home Christmas morning.
The family noticed smoke in the house at about 12:45 a.m.
Everyone, including the pets, managed to get out, but the house is likely a total loss.
Just a day later, neighbors have already raised more than $12,000 for the family who’s lost everything.
But despite their family home being destroyed, they were still able to save a few presents from the fire and have a small Christmas celebration.
You could still hear the smoke alarm faintly sounding the day after a Christmas morning fire ripped through the McIntyre family home.
Fourteen people were staying at the house for the family’s Christmas Eve sleepover tradition, when they noticed heavy, black smoke.
“He grabbed the fire extinguisher, opened the attic door, completely engulfed in flames,” Kristin McIntyre recalled.
Within minutes, the whole house went up in flames and the roof collapsed.
The family’s home over the last decade was gone.
“This was our first home, forever home, and to just see it go up like that,” Kristin said.
But in their loss, the family is not alone.
The local constable’s office stepped up to organize a donation drive for the family.
“A bunch of socks, we have a lot of toiletries, toothbrushes, stuff for them to just get by,” Kaufman County Constable Jason Johnson said.
And several people from Forney and all over North Texas have reached out to help.
“Just to have that, it’s a lot of love that we needed,” Phillip McIntyre said.
People are donating thousands of dollars, clothes, gift cards, and more to get them through the days ahead.
Misty Hurley and her family are among those helping.
Their home burned down New Year’s Day earlier this year.
“It hit hard, it brings back memories for sure, it’s fresh,” she said.
Hurley said it was the outpouring of support that helped them get through it.
“We were very blessed. The only thing I could think of was return the favor, try to show them some blessings as well because I know what that feels like,” Hurley added.
Paying it forward to another neighbor in need.
“These are not neighbors, these are family,” Kristin McIntyre said.
The family said the cause of the fire is still unknown, but they believe it may have started in the attic.