Flint family in need of help after house fire - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Flint family in need of help after house fire

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(01/10/14) - Time is running out for a Flint family burned out of their home on Tuesday.

They need to find a new place to call home, ASAP.

As is standard, the American Red Cross put the Simpsons up in a hotel for three days. Friday, that assistance runs out, but some 'good Samaritans' hope they won't be homeless for long.

It was a typical Tuesday at the Simpson's Flint home, until they heard, "Smoke detectors went off. Natural reaction, you just jump up," said Latika Simpson.

Latika was cooking dinner, but didn't find the fire in the kitchen.

"I could smell the stench of the fire getting stronger and stronger and stronger," she said.

The fire started in the back of the home and quickly spread forward, forcing them all outside.

"Trampled through the snow, barefoot and was beating on my neighbor's door just begging for somebody to help us," Latika said.

Latika says 15-year-old Rihonna even suffered minor frostbite on her feet - now protected by shoes from a complete stranger.

"We had one good Samaritan drive down from Midland to take them shopping," said Keith O'Neal, who runs the Good Samaritan Network.

O'Neal went to work as soon as he learned about the fire and how it impacted one of his former students.

"If Christ would have been here and he would have seen that need, he would respond and that's what we're trying to do," he said.

Now he hopes you can help Rihonna, her 18-year-old sister Diamond, 12-year-old Richard and 4-year-old Calila - who lost their home, but not each other.

"Smoke detectors save lives, and we were a family that was blessed to have smoke detectors and instead of planning a funeral, we're all here together," Latika said.

Now the Simpson family needs a home - and things to put in it.

The 'Good Samaritan Network' will be taking donations from 1-5 p.m. Friday in Mt. Morris Township. You'll find them at the Tim Horton's, at 6122 W. Pierson Rd.,
Flushing, MI, 48433

And if you can't make it Friday, click HERE.

The family's car that they use to get to school and work needs some attention, too. They hope a mechanic will step up and help with repairs to the starter and battery.

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