School closings and delays

Family of 5 grateful for neighbors who helped save them from house fire

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CLEVELAND -- The new year is off to a terrible start for a Cleveland family after their home caught on fire and they barely escaped alive.

"When the lights went out and my children screamed, that scared me, like, I felt defeated at that moment because I didn't know what to do," said James Dorsey, trying not to cry.

As the walls around Dorsey's family on McBride Avenue began to catch on fire Friday night just past 11:30, his girlfriend says it was their neighbors that came to the rescue, helping their three children, including a 1-month-old, safely get outside.

"Our roof was starting to catch fire, the neighbors all ran into our house and started grabbing our kids and taking them out," said Amber Carte, recalling how she escaped the flames.

Cleveland firefighters say the cause of the fire remains under investigation. However, Dorsey says he believes his neighbor was the target and his family of five the unintended victims.

"I remember hearing the explosion," said Dorsey. "Somebody threw, I think, a pipe bomb."

Dorsey says a neighbor's SUV caught on fire, then quickly engulfed their home, burning everything they owned in a matter of minutes. Carte tells Fox 8 the family was renting the home and did not have insurance.  They were saving for a home but now cannot afford to move.

"I just want to be able to get my kids into a house," said Carte. "I'm not worried about replacing everything right now. I'm just worried about them being somewhere they can call home."

The Red Cross is assisting the family currently staying at a hotel. Family members created a GoFundMe site to help them move into a new home.