ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – A Missouri family of seven is displaced after a house fire on Christmas Day.
The fire broke out around 2 p.m. in the village of Theodosia. The door and windows are boarded up at the home.
Derick Brown said his family was sitting next to the Christmas tree and enjoying the day when flames quickly ripped through their home.
When emergency crews arrived, they could see the flames coming from the building.
“My first attempt was to put the fire out, but then I noticed the fire was too intense, it was just too much,” Brown said. “My reaction was to get the kids out.”
Brown grabbed his five children — ages 11 months to 14 years old — and got them out of the house to safety. His wife had been gone for about 10 minutes to deliver gifts to her mother and grandmother.
The family said the fire started in the kitchen after a baking ham was left unattended.
“I heard popping sounds,” Brown said. “I get up and go in the kitchen. The range, the stove, the cabinets above the stove, the ceiling was completely engulfed in fire.”
All of the family’s belongings were destroyed, but Brown said they’re lucky to be alive.
“I call it a blessing from God because I have all my kids, I have myself, I have my wife,” Brown said. “The belongings are just things that can be replaced. But you can’t replace kids. You can’t replace a wife.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family cover some of their losses.