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Fire claims family's Fifth Street home, all their belongings
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Kathryn Forsythe lost nearly all in a fire that swept through the attic of her Fifth Street home Thursday morning. While all five occupants got out of the house during the early morning two-alarm blaze, most all of their belonging were lost and are in need of replacement.

Forsythe, 65, made sure that all were out of the two-bedroom house where she raised her three daughters. Granddaughter Amber Rogers, 18, who is disabled with spina bifida, had to scoot out of the house without her wheelchair. Amber's brother, Josh Rogers, 19, made it out but lost the $140 he earned for the week at his job. Forsythe's daughter, Deanna Frazier, helped ailing boyfriend Russell Louns, a stroke victim, out of his hospital bed before they left. Four cats also made it to safety.

Together they watched flames destroy Mrs. Forsythe's home since 1975. Only a couple of TVs and a chest of drawers survived. The Red Cross put Forsythe and her family up in a Modesto motel until Monday and gave her a voucher for food and clothing needs. They are now staying with family friend in Modesto.

To make matters worse, Forsythe had no fire insurance because she struggled to make ends meet.

Neighbors made calls to the Courier stating their home that the community rallies around the family.

"She's very deserving," said neighbor Linda Brewer. "She's very proud and won't ask for anything and always has a smile on her face for everyone."

Brewer said chief among the needs of Forsythe is to get her wheelchair van to pass smog because of mechanical issues.

"She needs the van with wheelchair. The van doesn't pass smog and I'm hoping someone can step up and volunteer to say 'I will do that for them.' She's in pain herself and can't lift that wheelchair."

Earlier this week Forsythe's car broke down, too, said Brewer.

A special fund has been established for the family through the Ceres branch of the Bank of the West, 2901 Whitmore Ave. The account number is #388084857.

Anyone who can help the family in other ways may call Amber Rogers at 496-6115.