UPDATE: Three West Orange homes burn in early morning fire

Three days before Thanksgiving three Orange County families now have no home in which to celebrate the holiday because of an early morning fire.

The fire broke out on the 2,000 block of Bonnie Street near Plum Street in West Orange.

The West Orange fire marshal, Dean Fuller, says the fire started in the middle home at 223 Bonnie Street.

He says the high winds quickly carried the fire to the house next door at 227 Bonnie Street, then within minutes both homes were burned to the ground.

Piles of burnt wood, broken bricks and twisted metal is all that's left of two West Orange homes.

The third home involved is still standing but was scorched by the flames and has extreme smoke and water damage.

"It looked like hell on earth," said neighbor Lacy LeBlanc. "It was like an inferno it was seriously bad."

Describing what she saw just after 2 a.m. Monday morning Lacy LeBlanc walked out of her home to see flames devouring the houses next door.

"It's devastating because this was a nice four bedroom house and it took 20 minutes for it to burn." LeBlanc was talking about the home that was on the corner of Bonnie and Plum Streets.

A man and wife with their three young children had just moved in two months ago and within minutes the old wood home was reduced to rubble.

"How can you understand what's going on when you're supposed to be thankful for what you have and now these people have nothing," said neighbor Heather Carley.

In this holiday season neighbors, like Carley, have heavy hearts for everyone involved, especially the 7 and 4-year-old boys and a 6-month-old girl.

Now she and others want to ban together to help the families who lost it all.

"Provide shelter, food, clothing that's what we're looking for and that's what I'm looking for, for these babies," said Carley.

Along with community help LeBlanc says the three families have something else to be thankful for.

"I really just hope that even though they lost their home everything that they own I hope they can still be thankful that their lives were not taken," said LeBlanc.

Three people lived in the home where the fire started and on man lived in the home that's still standing.

The fire marshal says the investigation is on going to find the exact cause of the fire.

But he did say the residents the middle home, where the fire originated, were using three space heaters last night.

There were no injuries as a result of the fire and the American Red Cross is helping the nine people who were displaced.

To help these families in their time of need you can donate to the Victory Life Church at 211 Bridal Wreath Avenue in Orange.


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