Cynthiana community gathering donations for fire victims

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CYNTHIANA, Ky. (WTVQ) – A family in Harrison County lost everything in a house fire, just one week before Christmas. Now, the community wants to help.

At the bottom of a hill off Salem Pike, there used to be a two-story, 1990s-era farmhouse. It was home to the Blackwell family for a little over five years.

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On Sunday, a fire destroyed the house and everything inside.

“Went to church and got a call as we sat down saying we need to come home,” said Anthony Blackwell. “The house was on fire.”

Harrison County Fire Chief Charles Carson says when they got to the scene, flames were shooting around 25 feet in the air.

Chief Carson says the fire may have started due to a space heater that was left on in the bathroom.

No one was home at the time and all pets are accounted for, but the family lost everything else, just one week before Christmas.

“I’ve lost a house myself in a fire in 2006 so I know what they’re going through,” said Chief Carson. “Now with it being Christmas time and them having three children, 7, 5 and 2, it just hits everybody really hard.”

The Blackwells have a place to stay just down the road, but now the community is doing its part to help make it feel like home.

Several donations of furniture, toys and clothing have already arrived.

“It feels good to have help,” said Blackwell. “I know we live in a good community.”

Blackwell has asked for help getting one thing in particular, a laptop.

He runs Julian’s Custom Castles, what he says is the only company in the country that builds custom sensory rooms for children with special needs, inspired by his son Julian.

“He has no use of his hands,” said Blackwell. “He was about 2 and a half, and we were on a trip to Georgia. His hands kept dropping things and by the time December got there, his hands didn’t work anymore.”

Blackwell uses the laptop for all his contracts. Now, he needs one to get back to work.

Donations for the family can be dropped off at the county fire station on Oddville Pike, near Eastside Elementary School.