Cleveland officer whose home was damaged by fire gets help from police and community

CLEVELAND - Cell phone video and pictures show the scene December 12 when Cleveland firefighters arrived to the East 149th Street home of Cleveland Police Officer Antoine Payne and his wife, Marissa.

"We heard a large boom," Payne told FOX 8 Tuesday. "By the time I was coming down the stairs the whole second floor was already filled with smoke."

Smoke filled the home, and in moments most of their belongings were destroyed.

"Most of our clothes, our furniture, everything," said Payne's wife, Marissa. "I just looked up and said, OK, what's next?"

Payne says he normally helps others, and wasn't sure what to do.

"We called family and most everyone at least had a couch for us, but we are a family so a couch wasn't going to work," Payne said. "But then my partner showed up like superwoman."

Payne's partner, Patrol Officer Katherine Byrd, insisted the family move into her home, until they found another house. Other officers, along with the Black Shield Police Union, organized fundraisers.

"We wanted to do whatever we could to help," said Vince Montague, president of the Black Shield.

Soon the family had clothes, furniture, and were able to find a new place to live.

"We are just so thankful, and we will pay it forward," Payne said.

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