TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) ─ A devastating house fire over the weekend has reopened the wounds of a Taunton family that knows tragedy all too well.
Keavin and Frances Duffy tell 12 News their son, U.S. Army Sgt. Shane Duffy, made the ultimate sacrifice in 2008 while he was serving in Iraq. He was 24 years old.
The Duffys are now reliving that loss all over again. On Saturday, a fire tore through the home where they raised Shane, along with his three siblings.
“It’s charred, burnt, everything is completely gone,” Shane’s sister Kelsey Powers said. “My mom was in her room and the room is gone.”
Kelsey said her parents didn’t even know about the fire until they heard their neighbors banging on their front door.
“It was on the roof line so they didn’t know the fire was happening,” she said. “If [their neighbors] weren’t outside, [my parents] probably wouldn’t have made it out.”
While the family was able to salvage many of Shane’s keepsakes, Kelsey said it’s the sentimental value of the home that makes the loss much more devastating.
The fire caused the roof to collapse, and the entire home sustained so much damage, that it will need to be torn down. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
After learning of the Duffy’s devastating loss, Massachusetts Fallen Heroes launched a relief fund to help them get back on their feet.
So far, the fund has raised nearly $50,000 for the Duffys.
It’s that support, Kelsey said, that is keeping them going during this difficult time.
“Everything that’s going on with the pandemic is stuff, everybody is in need, and for everyone to come together and help it’s amazing,” she said. “I am so grateful for this support and my parents are as well.”
Anyone interested in supporting the Duffy family can donate to the fund by clicking here.