Pat Ellis lost everything when a fire destroyed her family's Accokeek home Saturday morning. Now, a few of her neighbors are trying to help them put the pieces back together again.
The fire broke out just after 8:00 a.m. in basement of the Ellis home at 14805 Berry Road. Ellis' two children, who were sleeping at the time, managed to escape along with three of the family's four dogs. The fourth, a blind Shiatsu dog named Coco, was rescued by a Charles County firefighter during an interior search after the fire was extinguished. Coco, who had been unable to find his way outside, was reunited with the Ellis after receiving oxygen.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but fire officials say that the home did not have any working smoke alarms. Neighbors say that the Ellis family, which was displaced as a result of the fire, did not have homeowners insurance.
Coco receives oxygen from a Charles County Firefighter. Photo courtesy Steve Sterns, Prince George's County Citizens Services Unit.