Shortly after 1 p.m., Thursday, members of Posey Township Volunteer Fire Department, with assistance from Brazil City Police Department and Dick Johnson Volunteer Fire Department, Clay County Search and Rescue and the Clay County Sheriff's Department responded to the report of a house fire at Michael Raab's residence located at 2558 West State Road 340, Brazil.
The fire, which was apparently located in a second floor bedroom where Christmas presents were stored, caused heavy smoke and water damage during the two hours firefighters worked to put out the fire at the scene.
Firefighters were able to save some of the family's items and Christmas presents, but Raab said the smoke and intense heat damaged most of the presents for their four boys beyond repair.
One special Christmas gift, a two-week old black Lab puppy, was also tragically lost in the fire.
Raab and his fiancÚ, Chamis Losey, also lost most of their clothing to smoke and heat damage as well.
"There's not much left," a still-stunned Raab told The Brazil Times during a phone interview Friday. "The clothes for the boys and their Christmas are our major concern right now."
Initial reports were that the four boys were inside the home when the fire was detected. However, they were able to get out safely with only minor injuries.
The American Red Cross has been contacted to help the family, but the next-door neighbors, who wish to remain anonymous, are accepting donations of clothing, household goods, bedding and/or money to help the family.
To make arrangements to drop off donations for the family at 2536 West State Road 340, contact 812-605-2203 or 812-605-9882. Organizers request the people please leave a message if prompted to do so.
How to help
After a house fire destroyed most of the family's possessions Thursday, donations of clothing, bedding and household goods are being accepted by Mike Raab's next door neighbors' home, located at 2536 West State Road 340, Brazil.
Clothing sizes for the family includes:
* Boy, size 2-3 Toddler pants and shirts, size 8T shoes,
* Twin boys, size 5 Toddler pants and shirts, size 7 shoe in little boys and 5T
* Boy, size 6 slim pants, medium 6-7 boys shirts, size 1 boys shoe.
* Woman's size 20 pants, maternity clothing, and
* Men's size 38 pants and 4X shirts.