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Single mother and 7 children displaced after escaping house fire in Cleveland (video)

Sifa Nsimire and her 7 children need help from the community after devastating loss
Updated: Apr. 20, 2021 at 4:41 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND (WOIO) - Sifa Nsimire still can’t believe everything she worked so hard for is destroyed.

“As you can see, my house is gone. I don’t have anything,” she said.

Sifa Nsimire and her 7 children displaced after fire destroys their home in Cleveland. The...
Sifa Nsimire and her 7 children displaced after fire destroys their home in Cleveland. The single mother immigrated from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to work and build a life.(WOIO)

Just after 3 Tuesday morning, a fire tore through her home on Saywell Avenue on Cleveland’s East Side. The house is in Cleveland’s Forest Hills neighborhood.

Crews battled the fire as Sifa and her seven children made it out of the house, just in time.

“My son screamed, ‘fire, fire!’,” she said. “And then I wake up and it’s a lot of smoke, I can’t breathe, I can’t see where I have to go. But by the Grace of God...I don’t know how I can explain this.”

Investigators are still working to find out how the fire started but tell 19 News, the house is most likely, a total loss.

Tuesday afternoon, 19 News cameras were rolling as Nsimire returned to talk with city officials.

She said she purchased the home in 2019 after immigrating from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to work here in Northeast Ohio.

Now the single mother and her seven children will have to find a new place to live.

Friends in Cleveland’s Congolese community are helping the family but they’re worried.

Sifa Nsimire and her 7 children displaced after fire destroys their home in Cleveland. The...
Sifa Nsimire and her 7 children displaced after fire destroys their home in Cleveland. The single mother immigrated from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to work and build a life.(WOIO)

“Will she have another home where to live? For now, they’re living with me but for how long?” said Fanchon Salukombo, Pastor of the Light Mission Pentecostal Church. “After demolition will she be homeless?” he asked.

American Red Cross is assisting the family with temporary housing but Nsimire can’t stop thinking of her children.

“Seven kids. I don’t know what I can say. Just that I need help,” she said, wiping tears from her eyes.

Investigators remind everyone that smoke detectors say lives. Information about how you can get a free one is listed here.

If you’d like to help the family, click here via The Refugee Response.

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