WEST CARROLLTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A week after a kitchen fire destroyed a family’s West Carrollton home on Peach Orchard Drive, they are now getting back on their feet.
Amanda Neff, Harley Neff and their teenager were home on the night of Dec. 6 when cooking with oil took a turn, catching fire and spreading quickly.
“It just got way too hot and when the lid came up it just started the fire and it quickly engulfed our microwave,” said Amanda.
Her husband, Harley, immediately sprang into action to assess the situation and put out the flames.
“First thing I see is the pot of oil that’s got a large fire on it and my microwave above the stove had actually caught fire already,” said Harley. “ I didn’t feel like I had any other options at that point cause I couldn’t put any water on it, so I grabbed it, turned around and tried to take it out.”
As he took the hot pot outside, flames and oil spilled out spreading the fire and injuring himself. Harley made it outside, but was on fire.
“So I decided it’s probably best to stop, drop and roll in the wet grass that did actually seem to be helpful,” he said. His body was still badly burned. He says eight percent of his body sustained first or second-degree burns. He has since been released from the hospital and is on the road to recovery and so is one of their four cats, a tabby named McGonagall.
“She had to be MedVet out to a veterinary clinic,” said Harley. “Thankfully she survived, they put her on an oxygen treatment and she was able to pull through.”
Their home is a complete loss and condemned. Amanda said the ceiling collapsed, but thankfully some personal items were saved thanks to her quick thinking. As the fire began to spread, she ran upstairs and closed the bedroom doors which did save some of their belongings.
The family is now staying at a local hotel, but thanks to their insurance they have a new, rental home lined up; and thanks to the community they have clothes and other donations are pouring in.
“There’s people that we just never talked to or never think about reaching out to, different types of communities and just things they have supported us with either like item donations or financial donations to us and we’re just so incredibly grateful,” said Amanda.
The community even set up a GoFundMe for the family immediately after the fire. The goal was to raise $5,000. Within 24 hours they reached that goal and now surpassed it.
“It’s a pretty quiet community, so you know people are mostly staying to themselves doing their own things these days but every one of our neighbors came out to check on us, to give what we needed, helped us,” said Harley.
While they are on the mend they still have a long road to recovery, especially with the holidays ahead. The GoFundMe is still open for donations. You can donate by clicking here.