Westdale family loses home and dog after Christmas tree fire

The Florence Fire Department said an electrical problem with the family's Christmas tree was likely the cause.

Posted: Nov 30, 2020 6:15 PM
Updated: Nov 30, 2020 6:27 PM

WESTDALE, N.Y. - A family of six is out of a home less than a month before Christmas following a house fire on Miller Road West in Westdale.

The Florence Fire Department said an electrical problem with the family's Christmas tree was likely the cause. The family was renting the home from their grandfather, Victor Messier. 

"It's heartbreaking for me, when you're 82 years old and you know that you were brought up here," said Messier.

Messier said the family was out of the home eating at their neighbor's house when the fire started. Messier said when the family returned home, the house was engulfed in flames. The family was dog lost in the fire.

Messier said because of the stress of the fire, his granddaughter Sharon, who was pregnant and living in the home, had to be taken to the hospital. Her family said she was expecting a baby girl in a few weeks. 

At the hospital, doctors were forced to deliver the baby early. The family said the baby is in the NICU and doing well. Now Victor is working to figure out how to help her granddaughter, her boyfriend, and four grandchildren recover. The community already showing their support.

"Some people were giving donations because, you can imagine, they only have what's on their backs. I'm thankful they got out. I'm more thankful for that than them losing their dog. You can imagine the kids, and how people fall in love with dogs. It's like it was one of the members of the family that was lost." said Messier.

Messier said insurance will only cover a portion of the damages, and he's now working to decide what to do next with a property that's been in his family for decades.

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