Fire destroys family’s home, kills four dogs in Derry Township

DERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A family’s home was destroyed and four dogs died in a fire early Thursday morning in Derry Township.

>>PHOTOS: Fire destroys family’s home in Derry Township

The flames broke out shortly after 1:30 a.m. at the home along Route 982. By the time firefighters got there, they said the second floor was already starting to collapse as flames shot from the front and back of the house.

“My first thought was, there are so many dogs down there,” said Angela McCallen, the mother’s aunt.

McCallen said the four dogs didn’t make it out alive.

No people were home at the time. The parents were working an overnight shift and their two children were with their grandmother. McCallen said they’re a tight family, and they’ll be there for them.

“They’ll be OK,” said McCallen. “You just don’t think about waking up in the morning and finding a new place to live, starting over. So, if anyone can help with that, just give them prayers. It’s what they need right now.”

From a doorbell camera, a ball of fire could be seen on Route 982 along with smoke rising into the night sky.

“I looked out my window and I saw the big gust of smoke going across, so I instantly called 911,” said Samantha Gray, who moved to the neighborhood after losing everything herself, including four pets, in a house fire a little over a year ago.

“It was traumatizing, but I was able to gather myself,” said Gray. “And all I want to do is be able to help the family now.”

The family was having electrical issues at the house and a heater likely caused the fire, according to fire Chief Mark Piantine, of Derry Township VFD Co. 1 of Bradenville.

What’s left of the home will be torn down.

If you would like to help the family, CLICK HERE to donate to a GoFundMe. The family said someone already offered to pay to have their dogs cremated.