CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) – A family in Cumberland County was touched by a Christmas angel after losing everything in a fire. The community came together to help them have a happier holiday.
“It’s all about family and if there is one thing I tell our guys, family goes beyond the doors of the firehouse,” North Middleton Fire Chief Lonnie McKillip II said. “It’s the community.”
Just before Thanksgiving, the family’s home in North Middleton Township was destroyed.
“It was 9 p.m. We were getting ready to put the kids to bed,” Natasha Caston said. “My boys like to be naked at night so they were all in their underwear.”
Suddenly, Caston smelled smoke. Flames began to engulf the house. The cause of the fire is still unknown.
“They all threw their tablets to the ground and ran to the front door,” Caston said.
Everyone made it out safely but the house and everything in it was gone.
“This family was devastated. They were in need and it takes a village, so we’re happy to be part of that village now,” Brooke Butler Romito of the Mark L. Butler Foundation said.
With Christmas around the corner and the family having three boys ages 4, 7 and 9, the community is coming together to help. The Mark L. Butler Foundation partnered with Ollie’s Bargain Outlet to provide a free five-minute shopping spree.
“I went first for cleaning products like vacuums,” Caston said. “The kids went straight for the toys. My husband went for fishing and hunting gear.”
Police and firefighters who responded in the family’s darkest hours are now volunteering to light up their lives.
“To see them the night they lost everything and to see a smile back on their faces today is what the Christmas season is all about,” McKillip said.
With a bill totaling more than $3,000 and 14 carts full of Christmas items, the Caston parents said it’s time to get to wrapping and get the presents under the tree.