• Neighbors rally around Norwood families displaced by fire


    NORWOOD, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) -- A neighborhood is rallying behind families forced out in the cold when fire broke out at a two-story home in Norwood.

    Seven adults and three children, including 2-year-old twins, were displaced by the fire at 1407 Washington Street on the Walpole line.

    Kristy Barbahlo, who is recovering from surgery, was inside the building sleeping with her twin girls. Their father was at work when Kristy's mother, Cheryl, had come over to help and smelled smoke.

    "Next thing I know a girl was running downstairs saying there was a fire in the building. Everybody needs to get out," said Cheryl.

    The family rushed to the door. Kristy tells FOX 25 she didn't even have any shoes on and her instinct was to get out of the house. Soon they could see flames coming out of the roof.

    With only the clothes on their back, the family was left with nothing. Four families in all lost everything, but they got out safely.

    As word of the loss spread, so did the spirit of the holiday season. Steve Merrit of the Norwood Housing Authority came knocking, carrying a bag of toys.

    "Oh my God look at all this stuff in here, Mom," Kristy said to her mother after seeing the gifts.

    Another man also dropped by with two more bags full of toys to replace what was lost in the flames.

    "I'm just so grateful for everything everyone has done for my family," said Kristy. "We're gonna take this one step at a time and we'll get through it."

    The generosity of strangers and friends is helping this displaced Norwood family share in the hope and the magic of Christmas.

    Officials say the blaze began on the second floor of the home. They have not announced what caused the fire.

    A Facebook group called "Donations For Norwood Families" was started Monday and lists ways to donate items to the families.

    Next Up: