Helper Now in Need of Help after Fire

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LEHIGH TOWNSHIP -- A fire has destroyed the home of a family dedicated to helping people in the very position they are now in.

The Griffiths family runs their business in Lackawanna County to raise money for homeless veterans. Following the fire at their home Monday night, they are now homeless, too.

Anne Griffiths is a single mom of six kids. She lost her job last year then started her own business and charity for veterans.

That business was burglarized earlier this year, and Monday, she and three of her kids watched as their home went up in flames.

"That's my whole life right there, and it's gone in five minutes. That's the sad part."

Anne Griffiths says all this happened quickly just as she and three of her six kids arrived home near Gouldsboro.

"Next thing you know, after we opened the doors and stuff like that, it just went and that was it. It was up in flames," she recalled.

Anne watched as the home went up in flames. They say almost everything inside was lost, except for a fireproof safe where Anne kept letters her two oldest sons sent to her while serving in the Army and Navy.

Because of her sons, Anne and her kids have dedicated their life to helping veterans here in our area.

We first met her in April when she opened up "The Mess Hall" in Covington Township. Some of the restaurant's profits go to the family's foundation for veterans.

It consumed their business and their home, too.

Before the fire, some pieces of unburned furniture were already out on the street. They were headed to an apartment for a homeless veteran.

"We have the furniture outside for our veterans but we don't have any of our own!" said Griffiths "People dropped it off and donated it the other day for the veterans and stuff like that. At least that didn't burn. But, I don't know what we're going to do from here."

Anne says the restaurant and the foundation will continue just with a new perspective.

"I just don't know how to handle that part, you know? I never had to be on that end, but now we are, so we're finding out."

Finding out those she's helped are now helping her, making the mission even stronger.

"We definitely know what it feels like to have nothing because literally, this is what we have, the clothes on our backs, and so we can definitely relate."

Anne says within hours customers of her business started a GoFundMe page for the family.


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