Fire leaves Ponchatoula family homeless

Fire leaves Ponchatoula family homeless

PONCHATOULA, LA (WVUE) - A North Shore family of three is homeless tonight after their new home became engulfed in flames. Neighbors are now reaching out to help as the fire department looks for the cause.

Firefighters with the Eighth Ward Volunteer Fire Department were on the scene in The Landings subdivision Monday after a massive fire sent flames shooting 60 to 70 feet in the air and threatened the house next door. After a busy night, firemen were out still putting out hot spots.

"What you see on that's all we have," said Lavora Hill.

The Hills lost everything.

"We made it 10 feet and the garage blew," said Matthew Hill.

The family was just settling in last night when Lavora Hill smelled something burning and asked her husband, a church deacon, to check it out.

"I looked on the garage. We had a problem with the breaker box before," said Matthew Hill.

As the smoke rapidly spread, the couple quickly gathered their son and ran out the door.

"Three-months-old. He's fine, we got him out. Thank God we didn't have him in his room," said Lavora Hill.

With the flames soaring, they heard explosions coming from their garage, which was likely their cars, as neighbors began knocking on doors up and down the street warning other residents.

"Oh my God, it's a blessing. Thank God she came and knocked on the door," said neighbor Towanda White.

The flames were so intense they damaged homes on either side, with smoke entering the attic of one home.

"They sprayed the side of our house and kept it under control," said White.

Now the Hills' neighbors are reaching out to help the family, offering cash, food, clothing and diapers. They need everything.

"We're going to come together and help them get back on their feet," said neighbor Susan Creighton, who is beginning a collection drive.

"Our neighbors are awesome. I'm grateful. It could've been worse - we could've died," said Lavora Hill.

Though fire investigators have not determined the cause of the fire, the Hill family says they've had electrical problems and have had to change the breaker box twice.

If you would like to help the family get back on their feet, check Susan Hindman Creighton's Facebook page or End Time Harvest Outreach Church' in Independence.

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