Woman loses everything, including mom’s ashes, Swissvale house fire the day before Mother’s Day

SWISSVALE, Pa. — Eugina Saunders shared her Swissvale home with four of her children and three of her grandchildren but the day before Mother’s Day, they lost everything.

“It’s a lot. A total loss for a family. It’s a lot,” Saunders said.

The fire started in a home in the 2400 block of Woodstock Avenue. The call came in just before 8:30 p.m. Saturday. The Allegheny County Fire Department and the Swissvale Fire Department responded to the scene.

Saunders told me thankfully no one was home when the flames started.

“I don’t want to keep crying, I just keep crying,” said Saunders.

Days following the fire, the smell of ash still hangs heavy in the air, and several of the family’s damaged possessions lay outside the now boarded-up home.

But some things, like Saunders’ grandmother’s ashes, are irreplaceable.

“It tears me up that her ashes are in there and I can’t get them,” Saunders told Channel 11. “I don’t want my grandkids to see me cry. They are hugging on me, my kids are hugging on to me they are looking at me to be their strength.”

Now, Saunders needs the community to be her strength: There is a GoFundMe page for the family.

“Anyone that would like to give donations, humbly, we would be grateful for anything, anyone can do.”

Saunders is also asking that donations including clothing, toiletries, appliances, and furniture, be dropped off at the Wilkinsburg Family Support Center at 807 Wallace Avenue, Suite 205.

“I’m a spiritual person. I know things happen for you, not to you. I know blessing will come out of this,” said Saunders.