A family of four, including two small children, are without a home after a fire destroyed their house on Colton Street early Tuesday morning.
The blaze scorched the two-story home that Howard Thorton and Latasha Bell moved into just four months earlier. The couple had just finished Christmas shopping for Bell's daughters, and lost all the gifts, including two new bikes, in the blaze. Bell did not even have a pair of shoes to stand in as she looked at the hollowed facade of her home.
"To lose everything is just unreal," said Bell. She continued, "I have two little ones and they don't understand what's going on."
The fire began around 9 a.m. when a guest staying at the house alerted everyone that a fire had started. Thorton told WNWO, he believes the blaze was started by a space heater that the guest was using to stay warm.
"We went out the back door, came across the street and called the fire department," Thorton described. "With God's help, we got out of the house in time."
Neighbors, family, and friends are doing their best to help the family as they plan their next steps. They will spend the next three nights boarded in a Day's Inn hotel.