In Millville, fire ripped through a duplex early Friday morning, destroying the building and leaving nine people homeless.
Brandon Blount says he was at work when his wife and their seven kids had to rush out of their home, as a two-alarm blaze ignited in the supposedly un-occupied side of their duplex.
Blount said, "This started by somebody else - we ain't got anything to do with it, and now we're all homeless because somebody wanted to be ignorant."
It was just after 3:30 this morning, when fire fighters from four Cumberland County fire departments responded to the home on the unit block of East Powell Street.
Millville fire officials say the blaze started on the first floor of the supposedly un-occupied side of the duplex.
People who live in the area say just because no one was renting on the left side, doesn't mean it was empty. Rhonda McCall, a Millville resident, said, "It was an eye sore. It was a crack house." Two of the children that lived in the home, Jalen and Brandon Blount, explained, "There's just a lot of homeless people that go in and out. They have a lot of arguments. They’re crack heads."
And because of the alleged squatters who they say were constantly in and out of the duplex, the Blount family is worried about being homeless for the holidays.
11-year old Jalen said, "When the fire started, I was worried about Christmas."
The family says officials from the Red Cross have been helping them find a place to stay while they're displaced.
Fire and police officials say the investigation continues.
A local church has started a donation fund to help the family through these tough times.
Any donations can be sent to the John Wesley United Methodist Church: P.O. Box 471 Ogden Avenue, Port Norris NJ, 08349.
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