METHUEN (CBS) – With their Christmas dreams dashed and their home destroyed, Kristine Cleaver and Jacob Wallace still remain positive after a fire torched their apartment in a two family home in Methuen.
“Total devastation and destruction. Everything was gone or covered in water and ash,” Wallace said. And With only a few weeks to go before Christmas, the couple had just completed wrapping most of their gifts for their four year daughter Alannah and 11-year-old Maddelyn. Now all those presents along with their beautiful tree are gone.
Kristine, who works two jobs, is crushed. “I am just trying to make it through. I have no idea what is to come,” Kristine said. “Across from the tree was my daughter’s toy box and its completely ruined. We are tasked with going out and rebuying their gifts,” Jacob said.
Fire officials say fortunately no one was home at the time. It was a cemetery worker who noticed the smoke, called 911 and rescued their two dogs from the house. “I can’t thank them enough also it would’ve been devastating,” Kristine said.
Family, friends and strangers are now pitching in to help the family with toys, clothes and all types of donations. “Just how amazing people are. How generous and loving people are. It can happen to anybody and never expected it happened to me,” Kristine said.
A family friend has created a GoFundMe Page to help the family recover. The family says during these difficult times they are discovering the true meaning of Christmas. “It’s not really about gifts. While we lost all of our possessions, it’s not that big of a deal. Just having everyone together is perfect for us,” Jacob said.