5 days until Christmas: Donations seek to help Mt. Vernon family - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

5 days until Christmas: Donations seek to help Mt. Vernon family after fire

(Source: Loreto Cruz/KFVS) (Source: Loreto Cruz/KFVS)
MT. VERNON, IL (KFVS) -

A Mt. Vernon man is asking his community to band together to help a family in need during this holiday season after their home was destroyed in a fire early Tuesday morning.

Officials with the Mt. Vernon Fire Department said they responded to a fire at the corner of First and Casey Streets in Mt. Vernon on Tuesday, Dec. 20 and had the fire under control within about forty minutes.

But in that time the parents who live there said the flames took out not only their home, but the Christmas gifts they had laid out under the tree.

"Luckily, they were staying with me," Rebecca Hardesty said. "I'm always happy to help out my sister, and especially now. With everything they've got on their plate, making sure their kids have food on their plate is something I'm always happy to do. Then, seeing things like this is just really refreshing."

Derrick Quitsch and his friend Rick Wilson set up a donation collection, and in less than 12 hours had dozens of people reaching out to them to send clothes and toys.

"They didn't ask for anything, we offered assistance, and it just kind of went out from there." Quitsch said. "The response I've seen already is overwhelming, and I think those kids are going to end up having a really blessed Christmas after all.

A drop-off point for donations is set up at the Family Life Assembly of God Church in Mt. Vernon.

"But not just in this instance, all of the time." Quitsch said. "It seems to be the little things that really make the difference in people's situations and tragedies like this."

A cause for the fire is yet to be determined.

Download the KFVS News app: iPhone | Android

Copyright 2016 KFVS. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly