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Centre County firefighters help one of their own after fire destroys family’s home

By: Lauren Hensley

PORT MATILDA, Pa. -- Last week a devastating fire ripped through a home in Centre County.  As it turns out, the home belonged to a Port Matilda firefighter. Now the community is working together to help this firefighter and his young family get back on their feet.

From the front exterior of the Dave and Megan Greenwald's home it is difficult to see the damage done by a fire that ripped through the home Tuesday. However, the damage can be seen around the back of the home which is gutted and charred to a crisp. Windows have been smashed and the home is a loss.

The fire erupted at 10 p.m., the time when Megan was settling down with her 1-year-old daughter, Kaitlynn. But on Tuesday Kaitlynn was not sleeping, so the two went to run an errand. Megan said she came home to the house on fire.

"I saw the flames coming out of the back of the home," Megan said.  "I got a phone call on my way home from one of the members [at the Port Matilda Fire Department] asking about where my house was located, they had gotten a call for [my] house."

Dave is a firefighter with the Port Matilda Volunteer Fire Department. They came out to assist the Philipsburg Fire Department, but the home could not be saved. Now Dave's fellow firefighters are coming together to help the young family out.

"The community support has been great we do have an account setup at the First National Bank in State College under the name Dave and Megan Greenwald," Deputy Chief of the Port Matilda Fire Department, Steve Kibe said.

Kibe said multiple people in the community have been stepping up, making donations. The Greenwald family is staying with neighbors for the time being. The family said they are so touched by the outpouring of support.

"It kind of reconfirms your belief in people's humanity," Megan said.

If you would like to make a donation you can drop one off at any First National Bank branch in State College under the name Dave and Megan Greenwald. If you have other items you would like to donate or any questions, please call 814-571-2440.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times