MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minneapolis family of 14 had something to smile about Tuesday after losing their home to a massive fire on Christmas Eve.

Andrea Rice and her 13 family members were inside their north Minneapolis home Monday morning when fire forced them to jump out of windows to safety. When firefighters arrived at the scene, they found flames bursting from the roof. Within four hours, the home was destroyed and had to be demolished.

Rice said several of her children lost eyeglasses in the fire, and that her 9 year old lost his hearing aides.

On Tuesday, people came from all over the metro to offer support to the family at the Spirit of the Lord Church on the city’s north side. Supporters brought what they could to help the family. People brought presents for the kids, food, bibles and clothes and shoes for the adults.

Mark Lofthus, a supporter, said he was moved to help the family because the tragedy happened on a holiday.

“Here was an example of something happening on a day when we all try and celebrate family and happiness, so I thought if we can do something to help this family, it was a good thing,” Lofthus said.

Everything Rice and her family had was destroyed, and they watched as the place they called home was torn down.

Their new reality is four motel rooms in Brooklyn Park.

The family’s list of needs is long, but Rice says she is humbled by all the support.

What she really wants, however, is a house that will keep her family together.

How You Can Help

Donations will be accepted Wednesday at United Faith Pentacostal Church, located on 1156 North Aldrich Avenue in Minneapolis.


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