Thirteen people were able to escape a home after it caught fire early Saturday morning, according to the Fort Wayne Fire Department.
Crews arrived at the home located at 1526 East Pontiac Street west of Anthony Boulevard just before 3:30 a.m., about two minutes after receiving notification from dispatchers.
They found fire and heavy smoke coming from the porch and front rooms of the two-story home.
Four adults and nine children were able to escape the home without injuries.
Robin McMillon is the homeowner. She is also a grandmother and has custody of eight grandchildren who were in the home. She said it was her adult daughter, Breajaha, who woke everyone up and alerted them about the fire.
Breajaha told WANE 15 she screamed after seeing the couch and the rest of the front porch engulfed in flames.
“That’s the last thing somebody expects to see at your home with a lot of kids, sleeping at 3 o’clock in the morning,” she said.
The home on East Pontiac has been condemned. Investigators are still trying to figure out what sparked the fire.
Breajaha has her own suspicions. She said five minutes before the fire began she heard people get out of a car right outside. They sped off shortly after.
“There’s no way that a freaking couch would just catch on fire at 3 o’clock in the morning and then to hear a car scurry off,” she explained. “And to go out there and nobody is there and next thing you know you look up and your front porch is on fire? It was definitely on purpose.”
Whatever the cause may be, McMillon is just worried about what is next. She is the legal guardian of her eight grandchildren, some of whom walked out of the house with no socks and shoes. For now she is relying on friends and family to help her get through this nightmare.
“We’re going to go to a hotel this weekend. I don’t know what we’re going to do after that. We just have to wait until Monday and see what that brings.”
It took firefighters about 30 minutes to get the fire under control.
The American Red Cross was called to the scene to assist the residents.
The family has set up a Facebook fundraiser. It can be found here.*
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