Christmas morning fire forces Waterloo family out - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Christmas morning fire forces Waterloo family out

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A Waterloo family of four is left homeless after an early Christmas morning fire.

Waterloo firefighters responded to the home in the 4000 block of Niles Street around 4:30 a.m. Monday. Fire crews believe the fire started in the basement, but are still investigating the exact cause. 

Instead of hearing the excitement of their two kids opening presents, the Clark family woke up to a fire spreading from their basement. 

"The fire alarm was going off-woke us up about 4:30 this morning," said Dominique Clark. 

It wasn't the sound they wanted to wake up to on Christmas morning. 

"We were going to get up at 5," said Clark.  "And let the kids open up-we were going to have them eat their cookies and stuff."

Minutes before they were set to wake up and open presents, a fire broke out in their basement. . 

 "And the house was just pitch black, you couldn't see nothing," said Clark. 

Clark vividly remembers what he saw in the next few seconds.

"i just ran to my kids room and I noticed she had a fire under her bed," said Clark. "She was laying in the bed while she was asleep. So I picked her up, grabbed her, ran to my sons room, grabbed him, woke him up."

Firefighters say the fire that started in their basement, began to spread quickly. Clark's 6-year-old daughter had been fast asleep as the fire began to climb up her mattress. 

Both parents grabbed their six and 10-year-old with nothing but the clothes on their back. The family of four, along with their dog, all made it out okay. 

The fire left their home with extensive smoke damage, forcing the family out with little to nothing. 

 "5, 10 minutes later I don't know if we would be here right now," said Clark. "God was on our side today, even though we lost a lot of stuff. My daughter is okay, my son is okay, we okay. That's all that really matters right now."

The family isn't able to go back to their home because of the smoke damage. Clark credits the working smoke detectors in his home for saving his family.

"We just staying with family, and friends," said Clark. "It's a lot on Christmas, but we're dealing with it."

The family thanks the Red Cross and Waterloo firefighters for providing them with basic necessities. 

The Clarks are out of a home, and have also lost a majority of their belongings in the fire. A GoFundMe has been set up for the family. 

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