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Neighbors react to house fire on Wells Street Friday night

Community members help family to safety Friday night after house fire
Community members help family to safety Friday night after house fire(wpta)
Published: Jan. 22, 2022 at 6:20 PM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - A frightening moment neighbors won’t forget helping a family to safety after their home caught fire.

Aaron Rex who lives next door explains what he witnessed

“Once the fire really got going you could feel it. The smoke was blinding,” he said.

He says after he heard what was happening he rushed outside to try and help. He says there was a couple and their three kids with their two dogs trapped inside the home.

“A lot of folks out there put their own lives in jeopardy to help out strangers,” he said.

The fire happened just after 10:30 pm in the 1600 block of Wells Street. One of the family’s dogs did not make it. However, Rex says he took in the dog to keep it warm.

Denise Black who lives across the street says she wasn’t supposed to be home. She says she never knew the family but she still offered for them to stay in her home to keep them warm.

“We thought at first it was just small flames and then we eventually hear like the windows bust out and the glass started breaking,” she said.

She says she heard screaming and peeked outside but this one moment has been replaying in her mind.

“The only thing that is stuck in my head is the little boy who ran in the middle of the street. He was frantic. He didn’t know whether to call the police or to tell me to call the police but he just kept saying his brothers are in the house,” she said.

Black says some family members stayed until 3:30 am to make sure everyone was safe.

“They stood on the sidewalk with the rest of the family and I stood on the porch and we watched the house go up in flames,” she said.

They both say they’re thankful it wasn’t much worse.

“That’s just an example of the good coming out of people that happens in a time of crisis,” Rex said.

“The people in the area wanted to make sure at that given time the people that in the house were okay,” Black said

Rex and Black both told ABC21 neighbors were bringing water bottles, socks, shoes, coats, anything to help out.

ABC21 reached out to the Fort Wayne Fire Department to find out the cause of the fire and the condition of those who escaped but we have not heard back.

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