CHICOPEE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Eleven people, including five children, are without a home after a fire ripped through the Cornelio-Perez house just before 11:30 Friday night.
A dog and a cat were unfortunately killed in the fire, but the family tells Western Mass News they still have a lot to be thankful for.
"I think, most important to me, I know I speak for myself, but that everyone's safe," Chicopee resident Miguel Angel-Perez tells us.
Flames sparked on Chicopee Street last night and before he could think, Miguel Angel-Perez jumped into action, carrying his five children out of his burning home.
"At that point, you know, I think we were just focusing off adrenaline. As a parent, I think the first instinct is to make sure they were safe, and thank God they were," stated Angel-Perez.
Along with his five children, Perez lives with his wife and her family.
He says the fire started on the stove and spread faster than he could have imagined.
"When I saw it initially, I knew that this fire wasn't going to be put out. There was nothing I could do at that point to get it out," continued Angel-Perez.
All eleven family members made it out safely, except for the family's dog, Sophie, whom they had for thirteen years, along with a cat died in the fire.
"Sophie, she was pretty old. She was having trouble with her back legs, so my assumption was that she couldn't get up," says Angel-Perez.
But Perez said, this morning, he found his cat who hid in the basement and had survived the fire.
A hamster and a few goldfish also survived.
He tells Western Mass News that he still has a lot to be grateful for.
"We lost a lot, but we also gained a valuable lesson from this," explained Angel-Perez.
He says they are thankful for the community.
Their story was shared to Facebook and, with hundreds of shares and comments, donations have been pouring into the family all day, and Perez says the support is overwhelming.
"To them, I just want to say thank you a million times," said Angel-Perez.
But he says, even without all the donations, the community is still going above and beyond for his family.
"Kind words sometimes, in a moment like this, goes a long way," added Angel-Perez.
Fire officials say the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
However, the family tells us that they think it could have been a grease fire.
In the meantime, the Red Cross stepped in and got a hotel for the family.
To learn more on how you can help Miguel and his family, you can click or tap here for more information.