CLYO, GA (WTOC) - A Clyo family - including four children - is homeless after a fire destroys their home.
Neighbor Pamela Warner says a quiet Christmas night on Church Road in Clyo changed quickly.
"[My husband and I] were in the house and then he stepped out the door and he said 'Hun, call 911 the house is on fire,'" Warner said.
So, Warner did something she'd never done before and called 911.
"It scared me. I was hollering so much till the lady told me to calm down, calm down, calm down," she said.
Neighbors say the fire started around 10 p.m. Monday and didn't get put out until the early morning hours Tuesday.
"When they got up there on Church Road at the scene, the house was fully engulfed," Sgt. Brian Mundy, Effingham County Sheriff's Office Traffic Enforcement K9 Division, said.
"Just flame. All you see is fire. No smoke, just everything burning. Trees and all," Warner said.
They say the fire was fast and shot through the roof of the home and bubbling siding at a nearby home. Singeing the roof and pillars on a home on the other side.
"It spread from the front and then shoo it was to the back, and they were running around trying to fight it," neighbor Joseph Nix said.
"This is a family that lost everything: Christmas presents that they just got for the kids, it was just tragic," Warner said.
She says the community is banding together to help any way they can.
While the damage is devastating, Nix is happy it wasn't worse.
"It's a tragedy, but the blessed part is, nobody was in the house. They were gone. So, the blessed part is, nobody had to go to the hospital, and nobody had to go to the graveyard. That's the blessed part of it," Nix said.
The Red Cross has already stepped in to help this family with immediate financial assistance and will continue to follow up with them throughout the recovery process.
Gaffney's Cheap Seats in Springfield has posted on Facebook stating the restaurant will serve as a drop-off location for the family.