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Space heater fire leaves Cleveland family homeless for Thanksgiving

Posted at 11:21 PM, Nov 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-24 22:08:38-05

Phylicia Williams was planning on hosting Thanksgiving until a space heater fire Saturday destroyed her home and nearly took her 3-year-old son's life.

The Cleveland mom was working the third shift at a restaurant Friday night while her sister, Autumn Williams, watched the kids. 

The weather turned cold that night, and Williams put the space heater in her son’s room because it was much colder than the rest of the home. 

Autumn Williams said she brought the boy out into the living room less than an hour before she smelled smoke. 

“And then there’s dark clouds around my head and my babies’ heads,” she said. “It was the scariest thing that I could ever experience in my life.” 

Phylicia rushed home to find her family safe but the home uninhabitable. In her son’s room the spot where the space heater had been had burned through the floorboards and melted her son’s toddler bed. 

“Had he been in there, this would have been a different story,” she said. “I’m just so grateful.” 

The family lost all of their possessions and will be staying with family until they can get back on their feet. 

Family members have started a GoFundMe page to help get them through the winter.