Fire damages family's home in Hickory

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HICKORY, N.C. - A quick-moving fire heavily damaged a home in Hickory Tuesday morning.

A neighbor spotted the smoke and flames and called for help shortly before 9 a.m.

Heavy smoke poured from much of the home along Ninth Avenue Southeast as firefighters arrived.

The family of four, which includes a 10-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy, was not there when the fire started.

The family's home is now boarded up and the fire department put up signs warning people to stay out.

Firefighters did what they could to salvage items from inside as smoke poured out windows and doors.

The family said they lost nearly everything, from clothing to the Christmas presents they had bought for the boys.

"It is going to be tough on them. They lost everything, Christmas gifts. She has already bought some Christmas gifts and they are going to have to try to find a place to stay," said friend Chris Storie.

Two dogs and a cat died in the blaze.

Firefighters determined Monday afternoon that the cause of the fire was an electrical problem.

The Red Cross started helping the family when we first reported the fire and how people could help during Eyewitness News Midday.

Kelli Sigmon was in the Red Cross offices when our report aired and the phones started ringing with people wanting to help her family.

"Thank you so much for all the phone calls and people offering to help, and any prayers are greatly appreciated," said Sigmon.

The family said the Red Cross is also helping them with a place to stay by putting them up at a motel for the next few days in Hickory.