Two single mothers and their 7 children are homeless after a house fire in Knox Sunday morning.
A spokesperson for the St. Joseph County Chapter of the American Red Cross confirmed that they are assisting the group, which is currently staying in an area hotel.
"My sister was upstairs and she heard somebody yell for her," one of the mothers, Lisa Sexton, told NewsCenter 16. "So she walked out of her room and noticed the smoke coming out of her son's room."
Firefighters arrived at 7 N. Bower St. shortly after 10 a.m. and fought the fire that was supposedly started by an electrical heater. The fire was contained to the second floor, but the first floor sustained smoke and water damage.
Sexton says the family got out safely, but cannot return to their home.
"I was able to salvage some stuff but all of our beds and stuff are gone," she said. "I'm thanking God that all the kids and everybody got out -- the loss of the other stuff can be replaced and family and people's lives can't."
Many community groups are making an effort to help out these families. The Kid’s Closet Ministry of the North Judson United Methodist Church is collecting clothing items for those children and Central States Manufacturing is putting together a “hope for the holidays” drive for the group, helping to house them temporarily.
"It's always devastating when you find out that kids do not have clothes," said Linda Lewandowski, Director of Kid's Closet Ministry. "We just pray that the community will come together to help this family in need."