Austin family looks to move forward after devastating house fire

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(ABC 6 News) – An Austin family is without a home after a fire ripped through the home last Friday morning.

Now the family is looking to move forward but says the shock of it all still haunts them.

“I woke up, and I looked out my bedroom window and it was orange and kind of flashing and that’s not normal,” neighbor Bruce Loveland said.

The fire started in a closet on the second floor, shocking neighbors as they woke up to find the house in flames.

“I heard some yelling, a bit of screaming, and then I heard some glass breaking and it kind of worried me,” neighbor Garrin Loveland said.

The flames left Jami Donaldson and other family members trapped inside.

“After the fire, I had no shoes, I came out of the house with no shoes, I went into Shoe Sensation and I asked them can I come in with no shoes and explain and they donated shoes to our entire family,” Donaldson said.

With no way to get downstairs, they had to escape through a window. That’s when law enforcement asked for help.

“They said, hey does anyone have a ladder, and so Garrin and I went back to the garage and grabbed my 28 foot ladder and by the time we got over there, the neighbor on the other side of the house had already grabbed his ladder,” Bruce said.

All six residents were able to escape safely, but unfortunately, three dogs and two cats died in the fire. The family then received support from the Austin Veterinary Clinic.

“They donated the cremation for us, they gave us little boxes to put them in, their pawprints,” Donaldson said.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, but Jami is thankful for all the help her family has received.

“We’re just very thankful for everyone that stepped up, I can’t recall everyone that has so far but it’s very helpful and it’s heartwarming and we’re just a small family and we do what we can to help each other,” said Jami.

The estimated cost of damages caused by the fire is still unknown, but Jami and her family are taking it one day at a time. They plan to move into a rental property in October.

If you would like to donate to their GoFundMe, click HERE.