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Mpls. Family Loses Everything In House Fire

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(credit: CBS) Reg Chapman
Reg Chapman joined WCCO-TV in May of 2009. He came to WCCO fr...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Minneapolis family is wondering where they will stay after they lost everything in a house fire on the morning of Christmas Eve.

Their home near 25th and Girard Avenue North went up in flames Monday morning before 7 a.m. Most of the fourteen people living inside had to jump out of second floor windows to escape the fire. The house was so badly damaged that it had to be torn down.

Andrea Rice says it’s a Christmas Eve miracle that she and her family made it out of the house alive.

“There was so much smoke when we got up. The flames we’re running real fast,” Rice said.

And she has an alert neighbor to thank.

“She helped us all get out, and told us all to get up and made sure that we were alive for Christmas,” she said.

Rice’s new reality is 14 people crammed into four rooms at a Brooklyn Park motel. Everything they owned – clothes, shoes, cell phones – were destroyed by fire.

Little OB ran out without his hearing aids. Most staying at the motel are not wearing their own shoes or clothes on. What they have was given to them after the fire.

“We lost a great deal, but we just got each other for right now, and God,” Rice said.

This family lost more than all their belongings; they lost a home that was the foundation for their extended family.

All 14 are related, but make up four different families. Rice’s home has always been the place to go for this family when times are hard.

But that resource is now gone.

The family has been knocked down, but knows their faith will help pick them back up.

Rice’s wish is for her five children, two god children and one grandson to have something to smile about on Christmas Day.

If you would like to help this family, donations are being accepted between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Spirit of the Lord Church at 1001 Penn Avenue North.

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