ANDERSON, Ind. – An Anderson family is without a home after part of it went up in flames early Thursday morning. It happened just after midnight on Ruddle Avenue.
"It’s heartbreaking because just being next door right there and just watching it go down and knowing I see the kids out there every day," neighbor Elliott Swallows said.
Elliott Swallows says it was heartbreaking to see the home catch fire because the family celebrated Christmas Wednesday night.
He doesn’t know if the children's toys were damaged, but right now the entire family is displaced.
The family says 5 adults, 2 children, and several animals were inside.
All the people made it out alive. The family says some of the family cats passed away.
"The only thing I can do is feel bad for myself and for them just sitting there having to watch the fire," Swallows said.
This moment is déjà vu for Swallows. His mother’s house caught fire last year on Christmas and she lost everything.
"She can’t go back and say here’s a yearbook. Hopefully, they can. Hopefully, they can save their pictures. Hopefully, they can save a lot more stuff my mom didn’t get to save. Hopefully, it turned out a little better than it looks," Swallows said.
He says anytime a house catches fire it can be a lesson learned.
"You can have somewhere warm and eventually it can be gone like that. you can be put on the streets," Swallows said
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The Anderson Fire Department says the damage is expected to be about $40,000.