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Rushville family loses everything in house fire days before Christmas

Their home of more than a decade was gone within minutes.

RUSHVILLE, Ind. — Just days before Christmas, a Rushville family’s home caught fire. It destroyed all of their belongings. 

Heather and Cliff Griffith and their two kids have been staying at a hotel until they find a new place to live. 

Cliff said he was picking up his daughter when the fire started. He came back to find smoke rolling out of the bedroom window. He quickly grabbed his wife and son inside and met his daughter out front.  

Credit: Cliff Griffith
Damage from house fire.

“The windows started blowing out. The flames were just rolling. It happened so quick,” he said. “You couldn’t see anything in front of you. There was a wall of black smoke rolling through there.” 

The house they lived in for more than a decade was gone within minutes. They lost precious memories and photos, including all their Christmas gifts. 

“Between the smoke and water damage, the fire pretty much took everything in there,” Cliff said. 

Credit: Cliff Griffith
Damage from house fire.

The community started a fundraiser on Facebook and is gathering donations to get the family back on their feet with clothes, food and housing.

Cliff and his family are humbled and grateful for the donations and support so far.

“We are definitely blessed that we all made it out without injuries,” he said.  

As of Saturday night, the family was in a new home, a small step toward getting back to normal.  

The fire is under investigation. Officials declared the house a total loss.