Donations pour in after inferno destroys Burlington County family's home

A Burlington County community has responded with overwhelming generosity after an inferno engulfed the home of a family of seven the day after Christmas.

Firefighters and emergency responders from 23 companies responded to a home on Twin Oaks Road in Shamong on Saturday after a fire ignited in the garage. The Schwartz family, including two adults and five children, were in the basement but managed to escape.

Indian Millais Volunteer Fire Department Chief John Smith said the blaze had a significant headstart on firefighters which made it hard to control. The gusting winds also aided the spread of the flames, Smith said. 

To make the situation more difficult, crews required pump trucks to carry water to the fire because there are no fire hydrants in Shamong Township. 

A day later, the once large family home has been reduced to a pile of ash and beams. Six cars housed in the garage and parked in the driveway are now charred shells. 

Neighbor Amy Debye started a GoFundMe page to help the Schwartz family rebuild their home and buy back some of the possessions they lost in the flames. As of Sunday night, the account has already amassed over $91,000.


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