Community rallies around officer's family after fire destroys ho - KMOV.com

Community rallies around officer's family after fire destroys home days before Christmas

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Ofc. Montana Stephenson & his family (Credit: O'Fallon, Mo. Police Department / Facebook) Ofc. Montana Stephenson & his family (Credit: O'Fallon, Mo. Police Department / Facebook)
MOSCOW MILLS (KMOV.com) -

Firefighters have been unable to determine the cause of a fire that destroyed the home of O'Fallon police officer Montana Stephenson.

He told News 4 that he noticed flames at the rear of his Moscow Mills home around 5 p.m. Thursday as he was about to leave for work.

"I was saying 'bye, I love you.' Grabbed my vest and I caught a glow out of our back window," said Montana Stephenson. 

He says he grabbed a fire extinguisher and went to the back of the house but the flames were already too big. The Stephenson's have four children.

Kristin Stephenson said, "Our older two were down the street playing and our younger two, we just grabbed them and ran out. And when he said 'call the fire department,' I knew it was serious."

The Stephenson's said neighbors came from all over to help but not even the fire department could stop the flames from destroying the house and most of its contents. However, they said the fire didn't get to the children's Christmas presents.

"Luckily the majority of our gifts are at my parents house, because my mom enjoys wrapping because she's good at it," said Kristin Stephenson.

The Stephensons say they've received gifts of clothes and toys for the children and gift cards to help them with immediate needs and that they're grateful for all the help.

Kristin Stephenson said, "I can't even fathom what everybody has done for us, its just, it's amazing."

"Tell you what there's nothing like church, and the thin blue line and neighbors. You can't beat it," said Montana Stephenson.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family.

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