VIDEO: Mike Trout Lifts South Jersey Family's Spirits After House FirePosted:
BUENA VISTA TOWNSHIP - It was just days before Christmas when Tony DeSimone woke up to the sound of smoke alarms going off throughout his home.
A sound that he says saved his life.
“In a matter of minutes I saw the flames and exited the building and the building was totally in smoke and flames," said Desimone. "The smoke detector did save my life.”
The DeSimone’s home on Vine Road in Buena Vista Township still has a Christmas wreath intact on the front door, but the back of the home didn’t make out as well when a dryer cord sent the home up in flames.
“Total loss; it’s a total loss right now," said Desimone. "All the contents have been destroyed by smoke and water damage.”
“Even down to the Christmas tree was melted," said Barbara Desimone. "All the presents were melted, and everything was just gone. Burned, charred, smoke or water — it was just gone," said Barbara Desimone, Tony's wife.
Thankfully the fire victims' children, Michael and Cecilia, were at school during the fire. When Barbara DeSimone went to pick up their daughter she was greeted with a surprise.
“The school right away gave donations," said Barbara Desimone. "I walked out of this school with all the people handing money, with $1,250 just from this school.”
“Everybody just came together as a community," said Melissa Knapp, administrative assistant for Edgarton Christian Academy. "That’s what happens here at Edgarton: we take great pride that we’re a family and, boy, did it ever come true with this.”
Millville native and Major League Baseball star of the Los Angeles Angels Mike Trout heard of the DeSimone’s situation and stopped by for a Christmas Eve visit.
“Your house burns down," said Barbara Desimone. "You don’t have anything for Christmas and all these people are giving, giving, giving. Then bam! Mike Trout comes. It’s like Santa Claus arrived.”
Trout came bearing gifts for the children and Barbara says he provided comfort in their time of need.
“Especially, you know, you see how a lot of stars are in this day and age; they don’t remember where they came from," said Tony Desimone. "But Mike, he’s a true ambassador of Major League Baseball. He remembers where he came from and he really helps the people in this area."
The family plans to rebuild their home so they can stay in the community that has helped them in their time of need.
SNJ Today is a Southern New Jersey news and information source based in Millville, New Jersey, that is dedicated to providing current stories related specifically to South Jersey.