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UPDATE: Family displaced following three alarm fire

Updated: Monday, December 23 2013, 07:40 PM CST
Reported by:  Donna Kirker-Morgan

Two families from Lancaster scrambled from their S. Prince Street homes on Monday morning after an apparent kitchen fire.

The fire shut down S. Prince Street between Conestoga  and  Hazel for a few hours as crews battled the flames which impacted two row homes.  The aftermath left two families trying to figure out what they will do for Christmas, which is  two days away.

George Keys says he thought his middle-school children had burned something on the stove at their home just before 9 a.m.  By the time he checked, smoke was pouring out of the kitchen.  “Went and saw fire and yelled out my kids to get out,” Keys said. “ Went back to see if, I could stop it but smoke was too thick for me.”

Next door, the Mendez family also smelled smoke and grabbed their three young children, including baby Janessa.  “My lady had this one (Janessa)  and I had the two boys in my arm,” Nathan Mendez said.

Lancaster city fire crews battled flames and heavy smoke in the Key’s home, but they were able to keep the fire out of the Mendez home, much to the relief of the children who were very worried about their Christmas presents.

“Our living room looks OK so our gifts should be OK,” Mendez said. “That was the first question my kids asked me whether the Xbox was OK.”

The Mendez family’s home is inhabitable, although a strong smell of smoke remains.

We also learned the Keys family made a good decision to keep their gifts at another family member’s home. But as far as their mother is concerned, she got a best gift when she came home to the remains of the fire to see her kids were OK.  “My first instinct,  are my kids OK?  That is all I cared for. I was running down to the house and  hugged  my kids, If something happen to my kids, I mean  that’s my world, “she said.

Her family is being assisted by the Red Cross tonight. A fire marshal was on the scene but it could take several days until an official cause of the fire is determined.UPDATE: Family displaced following three alarm fire

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