Family paying it forward after devastating house fire

SPARTA, Mich. — A family of seven is making quick progress after losing almost everything they owned in a house fire last week.

The family's home on 10 Mile Road NW burnt to the ground last Tuesday. At first, they were completely lost, unsure of where to start the rebuilding of their lives. But the community of Sparta banded together to bring them donations of food, clothing and anything else they might need.

It all began when Mark Pennington had just left the family home, when he got a frantic call from his wife. She said she had heard a loud noise while getting the kids ready for school, and the next thing she knew, there was a fireball coming through the kitchen.

"I literally just walked out the garage, turned right around, By the time I got here it was completely in flames," Mark said remembering the morning. The Penningtons are a family of five children and three dogs. Jennifer was able to get everyone safely outside the home.

Now, the family is setting up camp in Mark Pennington's mother-in-law's basement. The family is making the best of it.

“It’s amazing to have everything gone and within a week be able to go back to work, kids back to school, everyone's got clothes, a place to sleep. It's nothing short of a miracle that we're all alive and we’ve made it this far. And, it's definitely not on our own,” he said.

You can click here to donate to a fundraiser set up to help the family through this difficult time.

The Penningtons are working on thanking everyone for all that they have done. The following is a list of some of the community support they have so far received:

  • Kenowa Hills Body Shop
  • K9 Camo Companions in Sparta
  • Sparta Youth Football Team
  • Sparta Tire
  • Sparta Post Office
  • Once Upon a Child
  • Papa Piccione's of Kent City
  • Downtown Trini's
  • Sparta Fire Department (and assisting agencies)

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