Wilmer family who lost home in fire thanks community after support

Mobile County

MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — A Wilmer family who lost everything in a house fire last week is ready to celebrate Christmas, thanks to the kindness of their community.

On Wednesday morning, the O’Donoghue’s woke to a fire in their home, they had just seconds to react and left with only what they were wearing.

“We went to bed at 11 p.m. and at 4:30 a.m. alarms were going off,” said Lacey Saint John, who was inside at the time.

The early morning wake up call sounded as smoke and flames filled the O’Donoghue’s home on Lott Road in Wilmer.

Inside, parents and their two young girls. The eldest daughter, Jailyn, is visually impaired. They were able to make it outside safely due to smoke detectors.

“I grabbed the girls, we walked outside. By the time we walked outside, that was it. We tried to walk back in and we couldn’t. It was like that,” said Saint John. Her daughter, Jailyn, added, “I was crying.”

Firefighters with Georgetown-Fellowship Volunteer Fire Department battled a house fire around 4:30 Wednesday morning. Oak Grove Volunteer Fire-Rescue helped battle the flames.

While they were all safe, they had nothing but the clothes on their backs.

“I mean, we had no shoes,” Saint John said.

With it happening the week before Christmas, all of their gifts for their young girls were destroyed.

“My first thought was their Christmas – their Christmas is gone,” said Saint John.

And that’s when everyone in their community jumped into action. Both of the girls’ schools and the Georgetown-Fellowship Volunteer Fire Department started collecting donations for the family.

“They brought us clothes, shoes, everything. Everything. They brought us everything. It was so unexpected and overwhelming,” Saint John said.

And now, a mountain of gifts are under their new tree for the girls on Christmas Eve.

“We told the girls this morning, these are from everybody who loves them,” said Saint John.

All thanks to the kindness and generosity of friends, family, and strangers.

The cause of the fire still hasn’t been determined, but they think it started in the fireplace.

The family has a GoFundMe set up to help out with expenses.

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