HUNTINGTON TOWNSHIP -- A family in Luzerne County will spend this holiday season without their father after a tragic fire over the weekend.
That fire near Shickshinny started at the family's home early Sunday morning, and it wasn't until several hours later when the body of a man was found inside.
Investigators believe the fire started around 2 a.m. Sunday in the kitchen of the home on Route 239 in Huntington Township, near Shickshinny. The fire spread throughout the first floor, scorching everything inside.
It wasn't until nine hours later when Mason Mott, 38, was found dead in a second floor bedroom.
The flames ripped through the home, damaging just about everything inside it. A state police fire marshal is expected to investigate the cause.
Leonard Mott came by this now scorched home on Route 239 near Shickshinny for one last time. His great-nephew died inside.
"He was a very devoted father and very proud of his three sons," said Leonard Mott.
Past the burned rubble and through smoke-stained walls is the kitchen of the home. It's where investigators believe the fire started, probably by accident, although they aren't yet saying exactly how.
Mott's wife and three boys, ages 3 to 12 years old, managed to escape the blaze. But investigators later found Mason Mott's body on the second floor. It was removed hours later.
"It's a terrible tragedy," Leonard Mott added.
Now several nearby businesses and an area church are collecting clothes and money for the family.
Spencer's Western Café is accepting donations to help the family in their time of need.
"Everybody's throwing in whatever they can to help out," said Rusty Benstoter.
"Well, everybody's got to help everybody out because it could be you. You know, you never know. It might happen to you, it might happen to somebody you know," said Nancy Snyder.
Snyder bartends at Spencer's Western Café where Mott used to visit. She'll now donate some of her tips in a jar the bar has set aside for the Mott family. But what they want is to have their dad, their husband, their nephew home for the holidays.
"A lot of the community will come together and supply clothing and food and stuff and all that, but it's going to be a long time coming back," said Leonard Mott.
Friends and family of Mott are also gathering Monday at McKendree Little League Field on McKendree Road in Union Township. Donations there will also be accepted.