Fire turns Brown County family's Christmas presents to ashes

Posted at 1:04 AM, Dec 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-28 01:37:43-05

GEORGETOWN, Ohio -- A house fire turned a family’s Christmas presents to ashes just hours after they were opened late Sunday night, and the family members themselves were forced to flee with nothing but the clothes they were wearing.

Danielle Stanze learned around 1 a.m. Monday that the house where her grandmother, Lina Jones, and two young cousins, Makayla and Eli, lived had been consumed by fire. When she arrived at the scene near State Route 221, smoke was pouring out of the windows and fire trucks lined the street.

“I was scared,” Stanze said. “I was bawling like a baby."

Jones’ fiance made it out safely with Eli and Makayla in tow, but the home was a total loss.

“There’s no repairing that house,” said Jones of the wreckage the fire left behind. Her car, furniture and grandchildren’s presents were consumed by the flames; what remained after that was irreparably soaked in rain Monday night. “It’s going to have to be torn down.”

The Georgetown Fire Department said it would be accepting donations to help Jones and her family find new accommodation and replace the belongings they lost in the fire.

The Red Cross also said it would provide Jones’ family with a hotel room for 10 days.

The cause of the fire has not officially been determined, but Jones said it sparked when power was restored to their neighborhood after an 11-hour outage.