The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

April 10, 2013

Windber fire ruled accidental

Fund created to aid family

David Hurst

WINDBER — A Windber blaze that left a family of six homeless Tuesday has been ruled accidental, investigators said.

Meanwhile, Windber Fire Department is rallying around the Gina Hillegas family, setting up a fund to help replace belongings lost in the fire.

Windber Assistant Chief Bob Haddad said the family lost their furniture, children's toys "and just about everything else" in the fire.

The home was insured but the family was not able to salvage much more than the clothes on their backs, he added, noting that even a daughter's awards for horse shows were destroyed. 

More than a half dozen fire companies were dispatched to Tuesday's fire. Haddad said a state police fire marshal determined the fire started in the home's kitchen.

Donations can be sent to the Gina M Hillegas Fire Fund at any Somerset Trust bank branch, Haddad said.

The fire department plans on posting clothing sizes for the family on their website.