Firefighter, Family Cleanup After Fourth of July House Fire - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Firefighter, Family Cleanup After Fourth of July House Fire

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The cleanup continues for David Hughes and his family just two days after fire tore through the basement and kitchen of their McKean home.

"It's incredibly overwhelming,” he said. “It's one of those things you always think about but never think it could happen to you."

 When crews arrived Friday, they found smoke pouring from the home on Old Route 99 as five fire companies battled to put out the flames. A firefighter himself, Hughes is now experiencing what he sees others go through as he and his family clean up.

"In my line of work, I see this all the time, and it gives me a whole new perspective on what the aftermath of a fire is,” he said. “We’re just trying to pick up the pieces and salvage anything you can that reminds you of your normal life."

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined, but officials believe an electrical problem in the basement may be to blame. As the clean-up process continues, the Hughes family says they are forever grateful to those who have helped them along the way.

"We were blessed that the volunteer firefighters were absolutely phenomenal,” said Rachel Hughes, David’s wife. “They stayed...the chief walked out with my wedding album and said ‘Rachel, we found your photos,’ and I don't think I'll ever forget that."

"Outside of my friends and family, my brothers and sisters at the fire department have been amazing and I really, really want to thank them,” David added.

Even though the Hughes' lost two pet dogs on Friday, there's one little guy who provides a shining light on their future: their new puppy Murphy, who survived the fire.

"He's our hope,” Rachel said, smiling as she holds the seven-week-old puppy.

The family remains unsure if they will fix the damages or rebuild the house altogether. Currently, the Hughes’ children are staying with relatives while they are living in their camper outside of the house.
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