ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Ogden community is coming together to help support a family whose house was destroyed in a fire earlier this week.
“It’s one of the hardest things my family has ever had to go through,” said Angela Vito, the daughter of the couple that lost their home in the fire.
The fire broke out around 3 a.m. Monday. Vito said it started in the garage and quickly spread around the house, damaging the living room and kitchen area.
Vito says at the time of the fire, her parents were inside, along with her 18-year-old sister. Her sister doesn’t always sleep at home so she was thankful she was there.
“Luckily she was there that night because if she wasn’t there that night, we don’t know what would have happened. She was the one who saw the fire starting from the garage and got my parents out,” Vito said.
The family home was built by Vito’s father in 1997. Vito said he built and designed the home from scratch. The fire, taking many years of memories along with it, as well as two family cats.
“It’s very heartbreaking. It’s all my parents have worked for for years. My dad sold his prized possession car back in the day just to build that house and to have the money and materials to build that house, so it’s hard seeing it the way that is now,” Vito said.
Vito is grateful her parents, sister and their two dogs survived.
As the family works to get back on their feet, the Ogden community has come together to show them support.
“The community has been so supportive and so great. They have been dropping off money, they have been drooping off giftcards. They have been dropping off anything they think we would need,” Vito said.
She says their generosity gives her family a new sense of hope in the world.
“My family just didn’t have that much hope in the world before, and now we are all just looking at the world and people in the community in a whole new different way and we are just so grateful and thankful for everyone,” Vito said. “There’s a lady that dropped off just a little painted rock and it says that ‘you are loved’ and it was just wonderful this morning to see that.”
Vito also said the kindness has encouraged her family to give back to others.
“It’s brought us together for sure and we want to help out as much as we can. Once we get into the place where we are able to help out, we want to reach out to the community and help them out more too. The donations that may not have fit my family, like the clothes and what not, we are going to be donating to either Goodwill or churches around the area,” she said.
Vito has been using the fire as a way to encourage others to make sure they have working smoke detectors in their garages, that will alert them while in their home.
Vito started this Go Fund Me for her family the morning of the fire. If you’re interested in donating, please click here.