GARDNER, Kan. — Four days before Christmas, a Gardner family lost everything after a fire ravaged their home.

The family of six says they’re not letting this terrible twist of fate ruin the holiday season.

Last Wednesday started off perfectly for the Mulwa family, getting even better with the family ending their night by going to look at Christmas lights. But things changed quickly when they returned home.

“We opened the garage door to get into the house and there was smoke all over the house,” said Betty Mussau.

As the fire continued to burn, the family anxiously called out to their cat. First responders arrived to the scene in minutes, and there was hope that all would not be lost.

“It was a moment of disbelief where we still thought we could put out this fire” said Samson Mulwa.

Unfortunately that was not the case. The Mulwa family lost their home of more than 15 years, including the gifts under their Christmas tree that still stood after the fire was put out.

“It’s really taught me that family is more important than things. We can replace what we have in our house right now,” Massau said.

“I can tell you what anything can burn down, but as long as we have each other, we are going to get out of those ashes.”

They’re determined not to let this event ruin their spirit.

“Even though we’re going through this we really still look forward to a merry Christmas,” Mulwa said. 

Their neighbors started a GoFundMe for the family that in less than 48 hours passed $10,000.