Tampa family receiving support after house burns in fire

Tampa, Florida-- There has been an outpouring of support for a family with nothing left, but now they need a place to stay.

The McQueen family's home burned down seven days ago. All six of them got out okay, but their two dogs died.

SEE ALSO: Family loses home and dogs in house fire

It happened along North 65th Street and East 25th Avenue in east Tampa Tuesday around 11:30 p.m.

Hillsborough County Fire never determined a cause. The county demolished the home immediately for safety. County code enforcement said they are giving the family time to clean up the debris.

Anne McQueen is the grandmother in the family. She lives next door with her husband, Jim McQueen. They both banged on the doors Tuesday night after Jim spotted the flames at the house next door.

Their son, Jesse McQueen, his wife and their four children all got out safely. Jesse had to jump from a two story high window to get out.

"I hurt my knee and my ankle, which I already had a bone spur in there before, and my eye was hit when I threw the blinds back to jump out the window," said Jesse McQueen. "But we are all alive."

Family members and loved ones have been slowly helping Jesse's family clean up the debris pile the county left behind after they demolished the home, and a dump truck company donated trucks to help haul it away.

The family has salvaged some precious items that have sentimental value to them, like wedding rings, photographs, baseball cards, the couple's first Christmas ornament from 2006- the year they moved into the home after their wedding- and their cake topper from their wedding.

"It's been stressful, hard, emotional, to watch the children go through this," said Anne McQueen. "They have spent the night in two different places the last few nights and they really need a place where they can all stay safely together for a few months. Jesse can't work in his condition. He is on crutches."

Anne and Jim owned Jesse's home, so she is responsible for the clean up. Her other goal is to get them the money they need until Jesse gets back on his feet.

"It's hard accepting help from others, because I am the guy who likes to take control and do everything but I can't do that," said Jesse. "I am learning to accept the help. It's really wonderful to know we have these friends who love us and want to do whatever they can. Now I just need to figure out where we are sleeping tonight."

To donate to the McQueen family, you can go to Bank of America and fill out a deposit slip with this account number on it: 89806 419 4944. Make it out to the McQueen Fire Fund.


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