Family devastated by fire but wowed by donations

Posted at 6:42 AM, Dec 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-03 06:42:57-05

“I never expected anything like it,” John Cartonia told 7 Eyewitness News.

John and his entire family are still in shock at the outpouring of support their community has shown after a fire destroyed their Columbia Street home in Hamburg.

“It’s unbelievable; we are overwhelmed,” mom Samantha said. “I don’t even know if that is the right word.”

Since word spread about Monday’s early morning fire, the community has come together. The family has received clothing, shoes, blankets and even gift cards – all generously donated by families in the frontier school district.

In addition to offering everyday items, hundreds of Western New Yorkers opened their wallets to help the family financially. A GoFundMe page started just two days ago has raised more than $13,000.

Right now the family is still in the beginning stages of rebuilding. Samantha says the family has toured the home trying to take inventory of the lost belongings. The home and everything inside is a complete loss.

But the family says after seeking shelter in a car and watching nearly two decades of memories turn to ash, they have a new perspective on life. This devastation has highlighted what is really important.

“Everything that had value was in the car with us,” Samantha said




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