Community rallies in wake of tragic fire in Washington, NJ
A family in Warren County, N.J., was touched by tragedy on Saturday, and now the community is rallying.
Fire raged through a home on Broad Street in Washington just before noon, and 93-year-old Elizabeth Stevens was inside.
Firefighters said it took 90 minutes before she could be pulled from the burning home. Stevens died the next day.
Her son not only lost his mother, but also his home and all of his possessions.
The surrounding community is now pulling together to get him back on his feet.
Volunteers gathered at the Washington Borough Fire Department to collect every penny possible.
"I felt I needed to come down," said Luann Jankowski, who donated money Monday night.
Rosemary Stevens is heartbroken over the loss of her mother-in-law and sentimental items.
"All of my daughter's memories, all of her pictures, things we had saved to pass down to our children. All gone. Nothing left," Stevens said.
"Pretty bad…There was nothing left," said Tiffany Hoser, Elizabeth Stevens' grand-daughter.
Hoser wasn't living in the home at the time.
"That's where I was my whole life until I got married," Hoser said.
Rosemary Stevens purchased the home 30 years ago and said it was gut-wrenching to watch it all burn to the ground.
"My whole life, a pile of charred wood, smoke and flames," said Stevens, adding that she is grateful her mother-in-law didn't suffer for long.
Hoser described her grandmother as a fighter.
"They said she was kicking and screaming all the way out. Very strong person," Hoser said.
Volunteers collected just over $1,000 for the family on Sunday and Monday night.
Additional donations can be dropped off at the Washington Borough Municipal Building.
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