Family forced from burning house in Youngstown receives community support

Local News

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The family who was forced from their burning home on Youngstown’s East Side on Wednesday is receiving support from the community.

Victor Barich, who lives in the home at Jacobs Road and Nelson Avenue, called 911 after he saw flames shooting out around noon on Wednesday.

“I was cutting the grass, pulled up on the side, seen flames shooting out the front window, I ran around the other side, jumped off the lawn mower, ran around the other side, got the wife off the front porch. My son came out the upstairs window and when he jumped off the roof he ended up breaking his leg, so he’s gotta get surgery on it today,” Barich said.

Barich said fire crews got there quickly and were able to save his dog. But by the time the fire was contained, there wasn’t much left.

Barich, his wife, son and two stepsons are now without a place to live. His son, Matt, is still in the hospital with a broken leg, his two stepsons are in a motel.

“Right now, I stayed with a friend, my son-in-law’s father – we got a camper over there, I stayed in the camper last night, she [his wife] stayed with her daughter,” Barich said.

He said he’s thankful everyone is alive. But all they have left are the clothes on their back and a few things he was able to salvage.

“About the only thing I got saved was the stuff in the freezer,” Barich said.

The Red Cross stepped in to help, and so have the people in the neighborhood. A postal worker dropped off a care package for Barish.

“The neighbors have been so nice, dropping by with donations and everything to help us out and I mean, it’s people I didn’t even know are stopping by and giving me donations,” Barish said.

For one family, helping them after the loss is important, because of the way Victor’s son Matt has helped them.

“My son went to high school and Matt protected Tyler from bullies when he was in school, which I really appreciated,” said family friend Wanda Drahos.

Tyler even had a special message for Matt while he heals in the hospital.

“I miss you. I hope you get better soon,” Tyler said.

“My heart goes out to them. We just wanna help them get back on their feet,” Drahos said.

The family still needs a lot of help, so Landmark Restaurant in Austintown is stepping in as the mother of two of its employees lived in the home.

The owners of the restaurant put up a donation box at the register and are also taking any other donations such as clothes, food and toiletries.

Clothing needed includes women’s size 8 shoes, 2XL tops and XL pants. Men’s size 10 and 11 shoes are needed, as well as men’s XL shirts, 40/30 pants and 34/32 pants.

On top of that, the restaurant is holding a spaghetti dinner, in which all of the money will go straight to the familly.

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