School Closings And Delays

Community Rallies Behind Family Who Lost Home, Dog in Fire

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LAKE ARIEL -- A family from South Canaan Township lost their home and their dog in a fire one week ago. Now, their community is rallying together to help them pick up the pieces.

The Davitt family ran out of their home with nothing but their pajamas and a cell phone before it was all destroyed.

Hundreds came out to the Lake Ariel fire station Sunday for a spaghetti dinner fundraiser to help the Davitts get their lives back in order.

For Cheryl and Joseph Davitt, it was an emotional scene watching people pour into the fire station to show their support.

"People that we don't know have given us stuff. I just want to say thank you," Joseph Davitt said.

Davitt still remembers vividly trying to get his entire family safely out of their home on Mill Brook Road in South Canaan Township near Honesdale early Monday morning. Firefighters said strong winds contributed to the house burning down so quickly.

"This one was pretty bad. They lost everything and it was sad to see," Lake Ariel Fire Chief Michael DiPierro said.

And because of how fast the fire spread, Joseph Davitt was unable to get Digger, the new family dog, out safely.

"Couldn't find the dog and with the amount of wind that night, the house just went," Davitt said.

All that was left of the home was the chimney. Now all that's left for the family is to move forward with the help of their neighbors.

"We just rallied together, having this benefit for them to try to help them start rebuilding as much as they can," said co-organizer Jen Adams.

The event was organized by a local girl scout troop with a special connection to Cheryl Davitt. For some of them, she's their second grade teacher.

After seeing so many come out and offer a hand, Joseph Davitt said he and his family are ready to get back on with their lives.

"We've talked about things we've lost, but what we've gained by people we don't even know who we are, we wouldn't want to live anywhere else than right here," he said.

Right now the Davitts are staying with family. They plan to have their son back in school Monday as they start to get things back to normal.

The Lake Ariel Fire Chief said the cause of that fire is still under investigation.