Family loses everything in holiday house fire

Posted at 11:01 PM, Jan 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-04 23:21:25-05

A family is raising money to rebuild after their home was destroyed in a fire on New Year’s Eve.

The fire erupted inside a home along the 3400 block of East 11th Avenue late New Year’s Eve. According to Tampa Fire Rescue, there is nothing suspicious about the house fire. The family said they had stepped away from their house to watch fireworks nearby and when they returned, the fire spread throughout the interior of the house.

Kristen Bane said her parents and niece live in the home. She said there was a chair that used electricity and a Christmas tree plugged into the same outlet.

“They’re guessing that the rider pulled so much energy that it started to melt it, and it caught the Christmas tree on fire, and when the Christmas tree fell, it just spread,” Kristen Bane said.

Bane started a GoFundMe page to help her family through this tough time.

“I just ask for kindness in this new year -- just help,” Bane said.

Bane said it makes it worse that her niece is about to give birth to her first child and has lost some of her belongings too.

“Any day now, the baby could come, and it’s just devastating. Her entire room is covered in smoke and water, and everything is ruined,” Bane said.

Bane is trying to raise $10,000 to help her family move back into their home. Her parents have lived there since 1999.

“My parents… They have done so much for this community and they have lost everything,” Bane said.

Diane Miller said she is determined to turn her year around and move back into her house.

“You gotta keep the faith... Always keep the faith,” Miller said.

If you would like to help, you can visit their GoFundMe page.