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Family returns to Parkville home to collect what they can after fire destroys almost everything

PARKVILLE, Mo. -- A family is displaced after their home along Union Chapel Road caught fire Thursday evening. On Friday, the family returned to the scene of the home to see if they could salvage anything inside. They told FOX 4 almost everything was destroyed.

"Black, wet, the ceilings are all down, you can see through the roof in a lot of places," said Tabetha Amburst who lived at the home with her father and eight other family members. She said family moved into the home to help care for her father who has lived there for decades.

Amburst said her daughter, who also lives at the home, is expected to give birth in three weeks. She said she lost everything she bought for her little boy.

"Diapers, clothes, we had a cradle," Ambrust said.

She said her grandparents built the home in 1961 and it was a special piece of family history.

"Nerve-wrecking, just to think of all the things you lost and try to figure out how to start over," she told FOX 4.

Amburst said her father's wheelchair, crutches and walker were all destroyed in the blaze. Tim Sawyer said he depends on his wheelchair because he has dealt with post-polio syndrome for most of his life.

"Your body just sort of dies every other day or so," Sawyer said.

Firefighters said because the home is located in unincorporated Platte County there are no fire hydrants. They spent hours hauling water to the scene using tankers. They said they transported 26,000 gallons of water to the home.

Amburst said her grandparents left the home to the Platte County Land Trust with the stipulation that their son could live there the rest of his life for free. She said he fell behind on his renter's insurance and now the entire family is without coverage after the fire.

Firefighters said the investigation is still active but they believe it started as a grass fire outside the home. They said the grass fire might have been started by a cigarette butt.

The family said The Red Cross will be assisting them for a few days, and they are in the process of finding a new place to live.